With School Soccer Playoff growth coming and the game as an entire present process radical change, one other spherical of convention realignment could also be on the horizon. Texas and Oklahoma have each reached out to the SEC about becoming a member of the league ought to the 2 Large 12 powerhouses select to depart their house convention.
Citing “a high-ranking school official with information of the state of affairs,” the Houston Chronicle‘s Brent Zwerneman first reported that the SEC might announce the additions of the Longhorns and Sooners “inside a few weeks.” CBS Sports activities can verify that not less than Texas has inquired with the SEC about admission into the nation’s strongest convention.
“There’s approach an excessive amount of smoke at this level,” one Large 12 supply tells CBS Sports activities.
The Longhorns are quickly anticipated to tell the Large 12 that they don’t plan to increase their grant of media rights take care of the convention, according to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy, who additionally experiences that there’s mutual curiosity about having Texas and Oklahoma be part of the SEC. The Large 12’s grant of rights settlement expires in 2025.
College of Texas regents chair Kevin Elfite is behind the pitch, sources inform CBS Sports activities. Elfite is a 62-year-old business actual property investor in Tyler, Texas, who served within the Texas Senate from 2004-13. He was appointed as a regent to the UT system by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wouldn’t deal with the experiences whereas in attendance at 2021 SEC Media Days on Wednesday.
“No touch upon that hypothesis,” he instructed CBS Sports activities. Sankey later added: “We’re solely fearful concerning the 2021 season. Any individual dropped a report from unnamed individuals.”
Texas and Oklahoma launched related statements refusing the acknowledge the experiences.
“Hypothesis swirls round collegiate athletics. We won’t deal with rumors or hypothesis,” stated the Longhorns.
“The faculty athletics panorama is shifting consistently. We do not deal with each nameless rumor,” stated the Sooners.
In a latest name with Large 12 stakeholders about CFP growth progress, Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz Jr. reiterated his faculty’s dedication to the BIg 12, a supply on the decision tells CBS Sports activities. My how occasions have modified.
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork made it clear to gathered media Wednesday that he needs the Aggies to be the one staff from the Lone Star State within the convention. Texas A&M and Missouri had been the 2 groups that left the Large 12 for the SEC within the final spherical of convention realignment almost a decade in the past.
“I have never learn the article, however if you happen to’re asking me to type of touch upon school athletics, it is altering,” Bjork instructed CBS Sports activities. “So what does that seem like? I do not know. … We wish to be the one SEC program within the state of Texas. There is a purpose Texas A&M left the Large 12: to face alone to have our personal identification.”
There was discuss at the moment about Texas and Oklahoma (together with Oklahoma State) doubtlessly leaving the Large 12 for the Pac-12 (then Pac-10). These talks got here inside 30 minutes of becoming reality.
Finally, they remained with the league they’ve been members of since 1996. Oklahoma was already a part of the Large Eight when it transitioned into the Large 12 in 1996 by including Texas as one in every of 4 packages from the defunct Southwest Convention.
Nevertheless, the Large 12 was decreased to 10 groups throughout that spherical of realignment, and it has struggled to reclaim its footing amongst its Energy 5 friends. Texas and Oklahoma have propped up the league since its discount in measurement, and in the event that they did depart, it could put the Large 12 on the point of collapse.
The additions of the Longhorns and Sooners would make the SEC the primary 16-team superconference — a growth long-discussed as a risk ought to there be one other spherical of convention realignment — whereas concurrently including huge model energy to a league already seen as the perfect in school sports activities.
Nevertheless, Oklahoma and Texas will face resistance from throughout the Large 12 and past. Oklahoma State officers made it clear they don’t assist their potential departure for an additional convention.
“We’ve got heard unconfirmed experiences that OU and UT approached Southeastern Convention officers about becoming a member of the SEC,” OSU said in a statement. “We’re gathering data and can monitor carefully. If true, we’d be gravely dissatisfied. Whereas we place a premium on historical past, loyalty and belief, be assured, we are going to aggressively defend and advance what’s finest for Oklahoma State and our robust athletic program, which continues to excel within the Large 12 and nationally.”
As for the SEC, its by-laws state that 11 of 14 establishments should vote within the affirmative to ask new members to the convention. There could also be some present SEC groups — along with Texas A&M — which are reluctant to simply accept further league members for myriad causes, together with considerations about future growth into their states. Nevertheless, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reports that “getting 11 of the 14 votes would not look like a difficulty.”