It had been a few years, but conference realignment appears to be back in the college football world, and in the biggest possible way. According to a recent report by the Houston Chronicle, Oklahoma and Texas have reached out to the SEC about joining the league, leaving the Big 12 behind.
The Big 12 proved it could withstand losing the likes of Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and even Texas A&M. Losing the Sooners and Longhorns, the clear cornerstones of the league, would mean something entirely different, and potentially destabilize the entire sport.
If those two programs leave, the Big 12 would have a hard time arguing that it remains on the same level as the other Power Five leagues. There’s a chance that the likes of the ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 could smell blood in the water and potentially add other teams, effectively picking apart the league the same way they Big East fell apart a decade ago.
The Pac-12, which has sputtered in recent years, made a big move back in May. After Larry Scott’s run, which came under fire in the last few years, the league hired George Kliavkoff, the former president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International, as its new commissioner. He’s a pretty entertaining follow on Twitter, and had a great reaction to the craziness elsewhere in the college football world.
Just when I thought my first month on the job could not get more interesting…
— George Kliavkoff (@Kliavkoff) July 21, 2021
Years ago, there were heavy rumors that the Pac-12 could be the destination for the Sooners and Longhorns. The two programs could’ve anchored that league, but given its struggles, it wouldn’t seem like the same cataclysmic event for the sport.
If the two schools jump ship, the Pac-12 will certainly have to look to help its own situation if it thinks any of the remaining Big 12 schools could improve the conference.
Pac-12 commissioner was always going to be a huge job, but he may have just gotten a huge, unforeseen issue dropped on his desk right at the start of his tenure if these SEC rumors come true.