The college football world was turned on its head on Wednesday, with the report that Texas and Oklahoma have reached out about joining the SEC. Paul Finebaum thinks that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
The Houston Chronicle first reported that the two schools had reached out to the SEC about potential membership. Others have filled in more details, and it looks like the two schools are interested in exploring their options after the current Big 12 media rights deal expires, with the SEC being the favorite option right now.
“My first impression of this story is that there’s something to it,” Finebaum said around the start of his Wednesday SEC Network show, via 247Sports. “The Commissioner of the SEC does want this to be about the players and the coaches, and what he said is accurate. But if you were sitting in a room at the SEC headquarters or anywhere and saying, ‘How can we make the SEC look even better than it already does,’ you would drop this story right in the middle of SEC Media Days.
“There’s nothing further from — but if you’re a marketing genius, you go, ‘the SEC is already the most dominant, Nick Saban shows up today,’ and now you have a story that looks like Texas and Oklahoma are outside the Wynfrey Hotel, banging on the door saying, ‘Let us in.’”
"Be careful what you ask for if you jump in this league…"
-Jimbo Fisher with some early reaction to reports that Texas & Oklahoma could be looking to join the SEC pic.twitter.com/5AWij40jO4
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 21, 2021
It doesn’t sound like Paul Finebaum believes that the SEC let this leak, but he buys the validity of the story. He isn’t totally sold on the move from the SEC side either, though.
“The early first hour read of the story is almost like, ‘They’re desperate,’” Finebaum said. “‘Do we really want them?’ And I’m not sure — forget I’m not sure. That’s clearly not — these things just don’t happen like this.”
The SEC is already the most dominant conference in college football. Adding two giant brands in Oklahoma and Texas, one of which is an annual national title contender, would certainly bolster things and bring in a giant monetary opportunity. There’s no guarantee that the existing membership will all be on board though. Texas A&M has already made it known that it doesn’t want its in-state rival joining up, and Kirk Bohls has reported that Missouri would also vote against letting them in.
If a few other current SEC members are against it, they may have the power to veto the move, but as always, money talks.