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Texas, Oklahoma aren’t exactly denying SEC realignment rumors

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This afternoon’s report that Texas and Oklahoma may leave the Big 12 for the SEC as soon as this summer has the college football world buzzing. And, for their parts, the Longhorns and the Sooners aren’t really shooting that rumor down. Both schools issued statements this afternoon that read more like non-denials.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was equally as coy about a potential 16-team mega-league, telling Brett McMurphy, “We are only worried about the 2021 season. Somebody dropped a report from unnamed people.”

Hmm. You know who isn’t being coy about this potential monumental shift? Oklahoma State.

“We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC,” OSU officials said, via Ralph d. Russo of the AP. “We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed. While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 and nationally.”

The spokesman might as well have said they’re not mad, they’re just disappointed that the Longhorns and Sooners may flee for greener pastures — emphasis on green. In the 2019 fiscal year, the SEC generated $720.6 million in total revenue, with an average payout of nearly $45.3 million to its schools. In the same fiscal year, the Big 12 generated $439 million in revenue and distributed $38.2 to $42 million to its schools.

When you look at TV deals, the SEC inked a 10-year, $300 million contract with ESPN back in December that’s scheduled to go into effect in 2024, while the Big 12’s current deal with ESPN and FOX expires in 2025. Texas’ station, the Longhorn Network, is currently contracted with ESPN through 2031. Money talks, especially with the NCAA looking weaker and weaker as an organization, to the point even Mark Emmert is talking about decentralizing college sports.

For any of this to happen, three fourths of the SEC’s 14 members would have to approve Texas and Oklahoma joining the league. You have to think that Texas A&M is a no, as are other schools in the west like Missouri and Arkansas. How does the rest of the group feel?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Texas, Oklahoma aren’t exactly denying SEC realignment rumors

  1. Mathlete
    7:00 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    The West would probably become Bama, Mizzou, LSU, A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Yeah, they’re not going to be down with that even if the payday is $10m extra every year.

    To really sell it to the existing teams, the SEC leadership might have to be willing to drop the east/west divisions and just play a random draw of 8 conference games (4 each home and away) and 4 non-conference.

  2. ukkatzfan
    7:01 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    I would guess that means Texas, Oklahoma & Missouri to the west with Alabama & Auburn coming to the east ?

  3. waytolongcal
    7:04 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Texas and Oklahoma need the SEC more than the SEC needs them. That would add another team in the East, and it won’t be Arkansas, Ole Miss, Miss State. The West is already the strongest division in college football. Texas has wrecked every conference they have been a part of, from the old SWC to now. Go join the Big Ten like Nebraska, SEC really doesn’t need either team. The only place these 2 teams can go to hurt the SEC is the SEC.

  4. panicpat
    7:28 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    I actually like it. Might give Alabama a little competition in football. Won’t hurt us much in basketball

    • IndianaSucks
      11:04 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      I don’t think they give Alabama anything they don’t already get in the west.

  5. ukflyguy
    7:30 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    They have the votes. Sankey wouldn’t let it get to this point if he didn’t have the votes. This looks more and more like a done deal and all these SEC ADs are eager to wet their beaks in the cash generated by the Longhorn Network.

  6. 4burgoo
    7:37 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Bring them on! That would make the conference unbelievably strong and even better matchups Now if we could only get an actual SEC athletic director as well….

  7. waytolongcal
    7:42 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    If I remember correctly LSU(2), Auburn, and Florida(2) have won National Championships more recently than Texas or Oklahoma. Texas in 2005, OU in 2000. Bama been playing the best competition.

    • JTHinton
      8:01 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      LSU, auburn, Florida, and Alabama all have more recent titles.

      Georgia was right on the doorstep, too. And Arkansas, Ole miss, Mississippi State, Mizzou, Tennessee and Texas A&M all have been AP top 5 at least once in that span, too.

  8. neat1ky
    8:01 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    I wonder what Clemson will do because the top players will pour into the SEC as never before and there will fewer nat titles in all sports for other conf and I think at some point some colleges will drop certain sports if it’s impossible to compete

    • Corder
      10:49 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      Too much money in football for anybody to be dropping it.

  9. waytolongcal
    8:09 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Texas is a nightmare for any conference, ask the pac 12… Texas wanted special circumstances joining the pac 12. They wanted to keep all revenue from Longhorn network without sharing, but wanted equal cut on pac 12 tv money and everything else. Texas joins the SEC today, they are the richest school in the conference before they get a check from the SEC. Bad idea!

    • Corder
      10:50 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      Wouldn’t be the same. Texas would have ran the pac 12, not the same in the SEC. Texas doesn’t have the power in the SEC like they would anywhere else.

  10. Catfan4life-original
    8:27 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Nah, give me a team from VA and NC. Virginia or Va Tech and NC State or Wake. I don’t want to go any further West.

    • gasman01
      8:52 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      How about Ga. Tech and either Fla. St. Or Miami??

    • csnailnrun
      9:10 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      Dude… Fla St is impossible to watch. Top 3 Most annoying chants in all of sports. I respect it and appreciate the culture, but annoying.

    • Catfan4life-original
      9:55 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      My logic is we are not represented in those states and it expands our market and recruiting base. We have Georgia and Florida in those states which are the premiere programs. We aren’t getting UNCheat or Duke so find the next best thing. Maybe skip NC all together and get WVU and Virginia but I like NC State since they hate UNCheat.

    • Corder
      10:52 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      Why would you want any of those trash schools when you have two of the top football schools in the country wanting to come? Makes no since to deny those two for some bottom dwelling schools.

    • Catfan4life-original
      11:13 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

      Because we have A&M and a Texas representation and Oklahoma is not the southeast. NC State and both Virginia and Virginia Tech have a much stronger bball program than either Texas or Oklahoma and we we are still better than both of their football programs. It gives us a bigger market and broader representation in all of the states and market in the southeast. I truly don’t understand why this is hard to comprehend for the betterment of our conference and for UK’s overall success against our potential opponents.

  11. waytolongcal
    8:55 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    Exactly, if you are the biggest, best, richest conference, why can’t you cherry pick if you want to expand to a super conference.

  12. csnailnrun
    9:11 pm July 21, 2021 Permalink

    For clarification, I meant to say “listen” not watch