US & World

AP Source: Oklahoma, Texas Talks to SEC About Joining League | National

When Texas finally wandered to another conference, it fueled a series of college sports reorganizations that almost killed the Big 12.

Texas is once again looking for a free agent, stealing headlines on Southeastern Conference Media Day, arousing speculation about the next round of conference shuffle.

The Houston Chronicle reported on Wednesday that it had contacted the SEC about the potential participation of Big 12 Powers Texas and Oklahoma in the league, citing sources it did not identify.

The newspaper quoted and announced “a senior official who knows the situation” It may come in the next few weeks. Adding two members gives you the most powerful SEC16 team in major college football.

Those who knew the situation confirmed by the AP on Wednesday night had discussions between Texas and Oklahoma and SEC officials about the meeting switch, but the formal invitation has not been extended.

The person who spoke on condition of anonymity said the talks had begun by Texas officials because the talks were intended to be kept secret.

Questions about the report were received without a series of comments from key stakeholders involved, but there was no denial.

“I’m talking about the 2021 season,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who said the third day of the SEC’s four-day football talk fest in Hoover, Alabama was over.

Ross Bjork, Texas A & M’s athletic director, didn’t want Longhorns to join the SEC.

“We want to be the only SEC program in Texas,” Björk told Hoover reporters. “There’s a reason Texas A & M has left the Big 12 to be standalone and have its own identity, and that’s our feeling.”

The SEC Bylaws require at least three-quarters of members to vote in favor of extending their invitation to participate.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bosby, whose 10-member league would be hit hard by such asylum, did not return a message from AP for comment.

“The college track and field situation is constantly changing. We haven’t dealt with all anonymous rumors,” Oklahoma said in a statement.

The Texas statement responded similarly. “Speculation is always swirling around college athletics. We don’t deal with rumors and speculation.”

Last week at Big 12 Media Day in Arlington, Texas, Bowlsby talked about reorganizing the conference as it is no longer the number one priority for Big 12.

“I can’t say it couldn’t happen, but it’s not one of the things that keeps me up late,” he said.

The move to leave the Big 12 is complicated by the school’s agreement after the final reorganization to hand over media rights to the league through current television transactions. Entitlements are in line with Big 12’s contracts with Fox and ESPN and will take place throughout the 2024-25 academic year.

In 2010, the then Pac-10 — led by new commissioner Larry Scott — invited Texas and five other big 12 schools to a West Coast-based conference to form the Pac-16.

It failed.

Texas remained the same and instead launched its own television network. After another affair between Texas, Oklahoma and Scott, Texas A & M bolted to the SEC in 2012 and Missouri tracked Aggie’s.

Already losing Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the current Pac-12, the Big 12 managed to do its best by inviting TCU and West Virginia.

College sports have been upside down for about three years as meetings joked to strengthen themselves and scrambled to keep schools from being left behind.

Big East was quickly poached by a major college football business before it was finally reorganized as the American Athletic Conference.

Living without Texas and Oklahoma is at best uncertain for other Big 12 schools.

Even unconfirmed reports prompted a categorical response from Oklahoma on Wednesday.

“If true, we would be terribly disappointed,” the Cowboys statement said. “We value history, loyalty, and trust, but with peace of mind, we proactively advocate and move forward with the best fit for a powerful athletic program that continues to excel in Oklahoma and the Big 12 and across the country.”

The mere possibility of adding Texas and Oklahoma to the country’s already strongest football conference needs to attract the attention of other Power Five conferences. In particular, the leaders of these leagues are trying to expand the College Football Playoff from 4 to 12 teams.

Oklahoma is the only big 12 team in the playoffs, with four playoffs. The road to CFP will be more difficult through the SEC, but larger fields may offer more roads.

The SEC recently signed a new television contract with ESPN that gives all rights to the cable television sports giant. It is unclear whether the addition of Texas and Oklahoma will not only be sufficient for the SEC to cover the addition at current rates, but will also create an opportunity to increase the value of these contracts for all members.

Earlier this year, the SEC announced that it had distributed approximately $ 45.5 million to each member. The Big 12 schools received about $ 10 million less from the conference.

When Texas A & M coach Jimbo Fisher was asked during a media session at Hoover that Texas and Oklahoma were reportedly interested in the SEC, he said, “I’m sure he will.” It was.

“Listen, we have the best league in the ball,” Fisher said. “That’s their choices and actions. I don’t know, but I don’t know how I feel about it.”

———

John Zener, AP Sports Writer, Hoover, Alabama, contributed to this report.

———

Other AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football And https://twitter.com/AP— Top 25

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



AP Source: Oklahoma, Texas Talks to SEC About Joining League | National

Source link AP Source: Oklahoma, Texas Talks to SEC About Joining League | National

Related Articles

Back to top button