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How Texas, Oklahoma View Final Season In Big 12 Conference

Jul 13, 2023, 3:29 PM

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners visited Big 12 Media Days for the final time as members of the league and their head football coaches shared their thoughts ahead of the last year before joining the SEC.

The league’s media days are being held at the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, from July 12-13.

During the two-day event, Texas’ Steve Sarkisian and Oklahoma’s Brent Venables talked about the Big 12 Conference and playing in the league for another year before officially exiting for the Southeastern Conference.

Steve Sarkisian on the Big 12 Conference

The former BYU quarterback opened his podium press conference by praising the Big 12 Conference and stating his excitement for one more season in the league.

“I think anytime it’s media days, it kind of signifies that college football is right around the corner. That’s an exciting time. I think it’s a great time for the Big 12. It’s a tremendous opportunity,” Sarkisian began his remarks. “I really love our football team. I love their mindset. I love where they’re at. I know there’s been so much talk about the SEC and what’s happening in 2024, but I think one thing that I love about this team that we have this year is their focus on 2023 and this opportunity we have here in the Big 12. It’s going to be a heck of a season, great competition.”

Sarkisian said that conference games, like Texas Tech, will hopefully carry “extra weight” this season.

“We’ve had some longstanding games with a lot of teams in the Big 12, and we’re going to embrace every opportunity we get this year,” Sarkisian said. “I think it’s pretty clear and easy to say, hey, we’re going to get everybody’s best shot every Saturday. The key to the drill is that we make sure they get our best shot every Saturday.”

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Brent Venables on the Big 12 Conference

A day after Sarkisian addressed the media, Venables spoke at AT&T Stadium. The second-year OU head coach talked about his past history in the Big 12 and his appreciation for the league.

“Last year in the Big 12 Conference, and having — most of you know my background. I played at Kansas State as the former Big 8 and had the good fortune to coach in the very first Big 12 game in conference history, Kansas State versus Texas Tech, Zebbie Lethridge and Byron Hanspard and the great Spike Dykes, and what an amazing time it’s been in this conference,” Venables said in his opening statement on July 13. “All of my opportunities in my life that I have here as a coach have all come from this conference, the Big 8, the Big 12, the coaches, the great mentors that I’ve had, and all the amazing players that have helped me have a career of success.”

RELATED: How TCU Football Plans To Follow Up Playoff Run

Venables on the future of the Big 12

The Oklahoma coach also discussed the Big 12’s incoming members and the excitement they bring to league.

“Incredibly thankful for this conference and what it’s meant. And as we all know, this is a conference that takes a backseat to nobody. Incredibly exciting having the new four teams, UCF, Cincinnati, BYU and Houston. Great coaches, great teams, great history and tradition that these teams will bring into this program,” the Sooners head coach said. “I just want to say I appreciate our commissioner [Brett Yormark] for his leadership. The Big 12 is in great hands under his directorship and what he’s doing for this conference. There’s no doubt that the best is still yet to come for this conference.”

Texas opens its conference schedule against the Baylor Bears on September 23. Oklahoma kicks of Big 12 play at Cincinnati on September 23.

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How Texas, Oklahoma View Final Season In Big 12 Conference