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Report: College Football Realignment? — Texas, OU Reach Out To SEC About Joining

Malcolm Epps #85 of the Texas Longhorns is tackled by Jaden Davis #4 of the Oklahoma Sooners during the 2019 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 12, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A fresh round of college football realignment could be on the horizon as the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners reached out to the Southeastern Conference about potentially joining the league, according to the Houston Chronicle.

On Wednesday, July 20, Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman reported that the two Big 12 Conference programs contacted the SEC about joining the conference.

UT and OU are the Big 12’s most prominent programs.

“Texas and Oklahoma of the Big 12 have both reached out to the Southeastern Conference about potentially joining the powerful league, a high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday,” Zwerneman wrote.

If the Longhorns and Sooners were to exit the Big 12 and become members of the Southeastern Conference, the SEC would have 16 members.

According to the report, “an announcement could come within a couple of weeks concerning the potential addition of UT and OU to the league, the person said.”

Zwerneman reported that a University of Texas spokesperson said he was “unaware of any discussions and had no comment.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey commented on the report to Stadium’s Brett McMurphy.

“SEC commish Greg Sankey on Houston Chronicle report about Texas, Oklahoma enquiring about joining the SEC: “We are only worried about the 2021 season. Somebody dropped a report from unnamed people,” McMurphy tweeted.

The Big 12 and SEC currently have the following members:

Big 12 Conference

  • Baylor
  • Iowa State
  • Kansas
  • Kansas State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • TCU
  • West Virginia

Southeastern Conference

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • LSU
  • Mississippi State
  • Missouri
  • Ole Miss
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas A&M
  • Vanderbilt

BYU has publicly expressed their goal has always been to be in a power conference. The Cougars had a presentation to the Big 12 in 2016, that ultimately led to the league not expanding. BYU also explored a scheduling agreement before the pandemic impacted the 2020 season.

The Big 12 Conference has a TV deal with ESPN and FOX, which is set to expire in 2025.

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