Report: Texas, Oklahoma Set To Leave Big 12 Conference
SALT LAKE CITY – The reports continue to churn in the Texas/Oklahoma realignment drama. Chip Brown from 247Sports reported on Friday that the two Big 12 powers are going to leave the Big 12 Conference.
Brown also reported that “barring any unforeseen developments” the Longhorns and Sooners would be joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Confirming the bombshell report from the Houston Chronicle that started all of this on Wednesday.
This is a historic move in college athletics as it sets a wave of conference realignment the sport has not seen for nearly a decade.
Another Texas Insider Kirk Bohls reported on Friday that the two programs have been working on this move for six months and that it could become final next week.
Texas and Oklahoma were founding members of the Big 12 Conference that was formed in 1996. The Big 12 merged the best from the defunct Big 8 and Southwest Conferences.
Oklahoma and Texas have combined to win 17 of the 25 conference championships during the Big 12’s history, with the Sooners claiming 14 of those 17.
On Thursday night, Big 12 athletic directors and league CEOs met to discuss the situation between Texas and Oklahoma. They issued a statement saying, “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.”
The Big 12’s Grant of Rights don’t expire until 2025.
If the reports hold up, all eyes will zero in on the Big 12 Conference and their next move. The Big 12 will be down to eight members. Will they band together and look to expand, or will they fend for themselves looking for other leagues to pick them up?
The ripple effect could be a complete shakeup to college athletics, as was seen in 2010.
Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.