Report: 4 teams the Big 12 could potentially add if Texas, Oklahoma bolt for SEC
After years of what seemed like some stability in the college football realignment world, one news story quickly changed that.
Texas and Oklahoma, two of college athletics’ biggest names, have reportedly been considering joining the SEC in a move that would have quite the impact on the college athletics landscape. As the Big 12 Conference scrambles to react to the news, officials from the conference met Thursday to handle the chaos.
According to ESPN’s reporting, athletic directors from the Big 12 met Thursday to discuss the possible departure of OU and Texas. The representatives from those two schools reportedly declined an invitation.
In the meeting, there was an acknowledgment that both Texas and Oklahoma have contractual obligations to the conference. That sentiment was echoed in a statement released to ESPN.
“There is a recognition that institutions may act in their own self-interest, however there is an expectation that members adhere to Conference bylaws and the enforcement of Grant of Rights agreements.”
What that statement seems to be in regards to is some of the rules the schools must follow. The Big 12 has a withdrawal notice requirement of 18 months. Also, the conference has a hold on the schools’ media rights until 2025 regardless of whether the program is still in the Big 12 Conference.
Besides that, the eight schools also discussed possible replacements for Texas and Oklahoma. That included programs such as UCF, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU. But those discussions were overshadowed by how the eight programs would handle a shakeup of this magnitude.
“We need answers sooner than later,” one source told ESPN, “and we don’t have any answers right now.”
In the statement provided to ESPN following the meeting, the Big 12 said “the eight members strongly desire to retain the current composition, which has proven it can compete at the highest levels.
“This is a time of dramatic change within intercollegiate athletics that presents both opportunities and challenges, and the Big 12 Conference looks forward to continuing to play a major role in its evolution.”
The big takeaway appears to be that though this reporting of a possible Texas-OU departure is exciting, there are a lot of hurdles to clear before folks in Austin and Norman start chanting SEC and planning their trips to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.