This summer has been hectic for the NCAA between preparation for the return of a full college football season and the implementation of name, image and likeness policies. However, Wednesday proved to be a fairly quiet day around the organization.
Well, at least until realignment rumors surfaced in the afternoon.
According to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, both Texas and Oklahoma reached out to the SEC with the intention of joining the conference. The two storied programs would reportedly be willing to leave the Big 12 in order to form a 16-team mega-league.
Realignment of the NCAA’s conferences seems to get brought up in one way or another almost every offseason, but Wednesday’s report certainly got the attention of those around the college football world. While some saw the rumors as a way to keep fans’ attention on the sport during an otherwise slow news day, many were thrilled to think about a major shake-up to the structure of college football.
🚨🚨🚨 REALIGNMENT RUMORS ARE BACK BABY!!!! 🚨🚨🚨 https://t.co/xegwwlRvwa
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) July 21, 2021
Just when it seemed like sports law and college sports would be taking a summer break after Alston and NIL, the old playbook of conference realignment resurfaces. https://t.co/tCaAICViCt
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 21, 2021
Realignment Twitter assemble pic.twitter.com/dekzFgqyqa
— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) July 21, 2021
“It’s been a slow week for college sports content”
Conference realignment rumors: pic.twitter.com/6n4UkRnTpH
— Pregame Empire (@PregameEmpire) July 21, 2021
REALIGNMENT RUMORS LET'S GOOOOO https://t.co/sYI56NUBf8
— Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) July 21, 2021
Realignment Twitter pic.twitter.com/692Cu7APGj
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 21, 2021
I have SO missed conference realignment. Congrats to all my sports talk friends for being handed this gift during July. https://t.co/iqRZWXUepK
— Kevin Kugler (@kevinkugler) July 21, 2021
Despite the pleas from fans, realignment may not be a real possibility in the immediate future. When asked about the possible rumors involving Oklahoma and Texas, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey sidestepped any discussion about a potential change.
“We are only worried about the 2021 season. Somebody dropped a report from unnamed people,” Sankey told Stadium’s Brett McMurphy.
However, Sankey’s answer doesn’t exactly shut down the speculation. Statements from Oklahoma and Texas also didn’t directly address the report.
“Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation,” Texas said in a media statement.
“The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly,” Oklahoma said in a statement. “We don’t address every anonymous rumor.”
All of the non-answers from those involved in the rumors has many college football fans thinking that realignment is a real possibility. Time will tell if that turns out to be true.