Texas and Oklahoma to SEC? Live news updates as Big 12 powers may kick start conference realignment

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CBSSports.com 22 July, 2021 - 12:41pm 19 views

Is OU leaving the Big 12?

After Texas and OU tell the BIG 12 they will not renew their media/television rights with the BIG 12, nothing happens until the end of 2025. Both universities will stay and play in the BIG 12. After the end of 2025, they will begin in their new conference (providing they are accepted). WFAA.comUT, OU plan to leave the BIG 12, sources say

When did Texas A&M join the SEC?

The SEC officially announced the addition of Texas A&M on Sept. 26, 2011, with the school joining the conference in 2012. Texas A&M's move to the SEC wasn't particularly well-received by its Texas peers, with the Longhorns still refusing to schedule the Aggies in major sports. al.comFormer Texas A&M president explains SEC expansion process, why he’s skeptical Texas joins

As if College Football Playoff expansion and name, image and likeness rights were not enough to shake up the sport, another round of conference realignment appears to be only a matter of time. Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about leaving the Big 12 and joining the nation's most powerful conference, sources tell CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd.

Citing "a high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation," the Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman first reported that the SEC could announce the additions of the Longhorns and Sooners "within a couple of weeks." Yes, things may move that quickly.

While SEC commissioner Greg Sankey along with officials from Texas and Oklahoma have all released statements refusing to comment on these reports, there have been no outward denials to this point. This despite resistance from some tangential parties, namely Texas A&M (not wanting another Lone Star State team in the SEC) and Oklahoma State (not wanting to be left alone in the Big 12).

This is the second time in just over a decade that the Longhorns and Sooners have given serious consideration to leaving the Big 12. Back during the last round of realignment, the programs (along with the Cowboys) came within 30 minutes of leaving for what was then the Pac-10.

The additions of Texas and Oklahoma would make the SEC the first 16-team superconference while simultaneously adding massive brand power to a league already seen as the best in college sports. Whether these programs leave now or leave for the SEC specifically, their departure from the Big 12 appears inevitable. CBS Sports will continue covering this developing story with live updates below.

The SEC presidents are meeting on Thursday and will likely discuss the possibility of expansion, and now several Big 12 leaders are following suit. CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reports that Big 12 athletic directors and CEOs will meet at 5 p.m. CT specifically to discuss the news that Oklahoma and Texas could be departing the league.

At this point, it's clear that wheels are spinning on this story faster than a the wheels on a Formula 1 car. It's a fair assumption that, if Texas and Oklahoma are involved, that they will be peppered with questions from their peers. If they aren't, expect multiple plans to save the conference to be developed.

Ten years ago, during the last round of realignment, it was rumored that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were required by law to stay together in the same conference. That's apparently not the case. Pistols Firing reports that it's more of a "gentleman's agreement" between the two schools, not something that is actually on the books.

Now that it's clear that there's plenty of fire to the rumor that Oklahoma and Texas are eyeballing the SEC, it was only a matter of time before the politicians get involved. That time is now. Texas State Representative Jeff Leach (R-67), posted on Twitter that he is drawing up documents that would force Texas' decision to leave the Big 12 to go through the state legislature,

"The lack of transparency by our flagship institution is wrong," Leach wrote. "Such a monumental economic and educational decision impacting the entire state must not be made in a bubble on the forty acres. Working on legislation requiring legislative approval for UT to bolt the BIG XII. #txlege"

Dennis Dodd and I have been chasing SEC commissioner Greg Sankey around the halls of the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover for the last 24 hours trying to get something other than "we're focused on the 2021 season." That hasn't happened yet. With that said, Billy Liucci of TexAgs reports that a big meeting has been moved up. 

SEC presidents have been scheduled to meet during SEC Media Days all along, and apparently that meeting is happening today. I'm sure there are several topics to discuss, but it's safe to assume that expansion will be the hottest topic of conversation now that the story leaked out. Expansion will ultimately be decided on by the presidents, so there could be a lot happening behind closed doors either here in Hoover or up the road at the SEC office in downtown Birmingham.

University of Texas regents chair Kevin Eltife is behind the pitch, sources tell CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. Eltife is a 62-year-old commercial real estate investor in Tyler, Texas, who served in the Texas Senate from 2004-13. He was appointed as a regent to the UT system by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019.

The Longhorns initiated these conversations with the SEC, and it's been reported that they may inform the Big 12 of their decision not to renew their grant of rights agreement with the league as soon as next week. Whether that will happen -- or whether the Sooners will do so simultaneously -- remains to be seen. The Big 12 grant of rights agreement ends in 2025.

With Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC could conceivably go from a $44 million per team annual payout to $60 million, largely due to television rights, according to Dodd.

SEC by-laws state that 11 of 14 member institutions must vote in the affirmative to invite new universities into the conference. There may be some current SEC teams -- in addition to Texas A&M -- that are reluctant to accept additional league members for myriad reasons, including concerns about future expansion into their states. However, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reports that "getting 11 of the 14 votes doesn't appear to be an issue" if Texas and Oklahoma ultimately do want to join the SEC.

Texas A&M hopes to maintain its stranglehold on the Lone Star State within the SEC by holding off Texas from entering, while Oklahoma State is worried what will happen to the Big 12 and its place in the college athletics landscape if Oklahoma departs for greener pastures. Both programs have a significant interest in keeping a move from happening, though they may ultimately be powerless in preventing the inevitable.

Aggies athletic director Ross Bjork made his stance clear Wednesday. "I haven't read the article, but if you're asking me to kind of comment on college athletics, it's changing," Bjork told CBS Sports. "So what does that look like? I don't know. ... We want to be the only SEC program in the state of Texas. There's a reason Texas A&M left the Big 12: to stand alone to have our own identity."

The Cowboys also stand in clear opposition with the following statement. "We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC. 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."

As this story broke right in the middle of SEC Media Days, league commissioner Greg Sankey was in position to confirm or deny the reports. He did neither. "No comment on that speculation," he told CBS Sports. Sankey later added: "We are only worried about the 2021 season. Somebody dropped a report from unnamed people."

Texas and Oklahoma issued almost identical statements. "Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation," said the Longhorns. "The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don't address every anonymous rumor," said the Sooners.

The Longhorns and Sooners have reached out to the SEC about leaving the Big 12 and joining the nation's most powerful conference, sources tell CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd. Citing "a high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation," the Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman first reported Wednesday that the SEC could announce the additions of the Longhorns and Sooners "within a couple of weeks." Yes, things may move that quickly. Whether they will is another thing altogether.

Changing conferences is a complicated task that will not only come down to preferences of the programs but also money. OU and UT are locked into the Big 12's grant of rights allowing the conference to control the television product of its games through 2025. The SEC would also have to vote in the affirmative to add the programs in the first place.

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Bjork says he doesn’t want to see Texas & Oklahoma join the SEC

WHOP 22 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork tells the SEC Network he will be “diligent” to protect Texas A&M amid reports Texas and Oklahoma are considering asking to become members of the Southeastern Conference. Bjork said he wants the Aggies to “be the only school from Texas” in the SEC. A&M has been in the SEC since 2012 after leaving the Big 12 Conference.

Meanwhile, sources tell Stadium there is interest by the SEC to have Texas and Oklahoma join the league. SEC by laws indicate 11 of the 14 schools have to approve extending an invitation to the schools.

Bartlesville Radio » Sports

Bartlesville Radio 22 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

Big news came out on Wednesday afternoon that could shift college athletics in our region.

The Houston Chronicle was the first to report that Oklahoma and Texas have both inquired about joining the SEC. It appears from subsequent reporting that the rumor has some legs. Multiple outlets saying that there is mutual interest between the conference and the schools.

Although far from a done deal, the publicity of the courtship could hasten another round of conference realignment that college sports hasn’t seen in a decade. Money and status would be the primary motivation for the Sooners and Longhorns wanting to leave the Big 12.

If OU and UT move on, the big question regionally is: What would happen with the remnants of the Big 12 with programs like Oklahoma State, Kansas State and KU? OU and Texas both released statements not denying the report on Wednesday.

Report: OU, Texas to notify Big 12 next week of petition to join SEC

Norman Transcript 22 July, 2021 - 01:10pm

Plentiful sunshine. High 89F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph..

Clear skies. Low 71F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Oklahoma Sooners running back Trey Sermon (4) tries to avoid a tackle by Texas Longhorns safety B.J. Foster (25) during the second half of the NCAA Big 12 Conference football championship, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma defeated Texas 39-27. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

Oklahoma Sooners running back Trey Sermon (4) tries to avoid a tackle by Texas Longhorns safety B.J. Foster (25) during the second half of the NCAA Big 12 Conference football championship, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma defeated Texas 39-27. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

The athletic directors and chief executive officers are meeting today at 5 p.m. to discuss Oklahoma and Texas' intent to join the SEC, per reports.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports was the first to report the news.

Big 12 ADs and CEOs meeting at 5 pm today to discuss Texas, OU situation.

The meeting will be focused on initial reaction and debriefing, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.

Oklahoma and Texas will reportedly notify the Big 12 next week that they intend to petition the SEC for membership into the conference, per WFAA reporter Jason Whitely.

Whitely's tweet is an additional update on the Houston Chronicle's original report Wednesday that OU and Texas had approached the SEC about joining the conference.

#BREAKING: SOURCES: After notifying the @Big12Conference early next week, @TexasLonghorns and @UofOklahoma will petition the @SEC for membership.-more-

OU and Texas issued statements yesterday that neither confirmed nor denied the Houston Chronicle's report.

Both programs are bound by the Big 12's grant of rights agreement that expires in 2025. The "rights" Big 12 teams agreed to are media rights, making it difficult for OU and Texas to leave before the agreement expires, but not impossible.

Per SEC bylaws, OU and Texas would need 11 of the 14 current SEC teams to vote yes to be accepted as new members.

Diana Baker, 75 of Norman passed away on July 10, 2021. Services are pending at this time. Arrangements are under the direction of Primrose Funeral Service.

William "Bill" Thomas Ratliff (92) of Noble, passed away on July 19, 2021 at his home. Graveside services will be 11:00 am Friday, July 23, 2021 at the Noble IOOf Cemetery. Directed by McMahans Funeral Home of Noble.

Hershell Dodd, age 98 of Lexington passed away Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Services will be 10:00 A.M. Friday July 23, 2021 at Little's Chapel, Purcell, OK. You may read the full obituary at wilsonlittle.com.

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Big 12 meeting to discuss Texas, OU situation

KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com 22 July, 2021 - 12:46pm

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech had no comment on Wednesday when news broke that the University of Texas and Oklahoma University reached out to the Southeastern Conference (SEC) about joining the league. Then, on Thursday, CBS Sports reporter Dennis Dodd tweeted, “Big 12 ADs and CEOs meeting at 5 pm today to discuss Texas, OU situation.”

Big 12 ADs and CEOs meeting at 5 pm today to discuss Texas, OU situation.

The Associated Press (AP), following up on an article first published by the Houston Chronicle, reported, “The two schools have talked about switching conferences with SEC officials, but no formal invitations have been extended.”

Texas and OU both issued brief statements that were neither confirmations or denials.

“It would be a devastating blow to the 10-member Big 12,” the AP reported. “This would be catastrophic for the Big 12,” sportingnews.com added.

Oklahoma State was openly opposed to the idea on Wednesday. And Texas A&M was also opposed because it prefers to be the only SEC team in Texas.

It’s not clear what would happen to the eight remaining schools of the Big 12 if Texas and OU were to exit.

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The scenario George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 are hoping for if Texas, OU go to SEC

Trojans Wire 22 July, 2021 - 04:47am

Last December, it was announced that CBS’s relationship with SEC football was going to end, and that ESPN-ABC would put the Disney stamp on football in America’s richest conference. That is where this story begins.

We will see where this story ends for the Pac-12.

New commissioner George Kliavkoff and the Pac-12 CEO Group always knew that the media rights deals they will negotiate at some point in this decade are going to have a significant impact on the trajectory of the conference, in football and beyond.

What Kliavkoff and the CEOs could not have known was that Texas and Oklahoma might jump from the Big 12 to the SEC. We don’t know for a fact that this is going to happen — the political winds can quickly change direction, and a lot of leverage plays are going to be attempted behind the scenes in the coming days — but the mere possibility of this move will force the Pac-12 to rethink its media rights strategy.

This does not mean the Pac-12’s core goals or priorities will be different, but it does mean the Pac-12’s path to its intended goals will likely need to be adjusted.

One obvious adjustment is that whereas CBS — by losing the SEC to Disney — had once seemed to be the obvious target for a Pac-12 media rights deal, that situation is harder to calibrate now.

If Texas and Oklahoma do leave the Big 12, FOX will be stuck with Big 12 media rights, in addition to its Big Ten package. FOX would obviously be in a position to prioritize the Big Ten, which normally plays its games in the noon Eastern time slot on Saturdays. People in the Big Ten don’t get (very) upset about noon kickoffs, or at least not nearly as upset as Big 12 fans do, especially Oklahoma’s.

The Sooners made it clear they wanted more night games. FOX wouldn’t accommodate them. This move to the SEC isn’t solely a television-based move, but TV is certainly part of it.

The bottom line is that if Texas and Oklahoma leave the Big 12, FOX — not just CBS — could view the Pac-12 differently from before: FOX as an existing partner, CBS as a prospective new partner.

What is the scenario George Kliavkoff and the Pac-12 are hoping for IF — IF — Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC? It’s simple on a basic conceptual level, very complicated in terms of the actual politics and economics:

Kliavkoff and the Pac-12 would want FOX and CBS to get into a bidding war for Pac-12 football.

The real question therefore becomes: What does the Pac-12 need to do to make this happen or at least increase the odds that it will?

The follow-up question: Does the Pac-12 need to add new members from certain media markets or regions of the country to make this happen, or can it do so while staying at 12 teams and therefore maintaining each member school’s piece of future revenues?

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