As SEC Media Days rage on this week, a new report by Houston Chronicle writer Brent Zwerneman has shaken the college football world. He says that Big 12 powers Oklahoma and Texas, the two cornerstone programs of that league, have reached out about joining the SEC.
Some of the delusion that college football is anything but a big business has been scrapped in recent years, especially with the recent NIL reform for players. It is hard to see the SEC adding Oklahoma and Texas as anything but a money grab for both sides.
It would certainly allow the SEC to negotiate an astronomical new deal with its media partners, which would mean big money for all of the member programs. On a football level, there’s no way that all of those programs would be thrilled with two new big powers on the block. Many of the middling SEC programs probably have concerns about adding to the top of the league, but Texas A&M, which has no love lost with its in-state and former conference rival, hasn’t been shy about things: the Aggies don’t want the Longhorns joining up.
Ross Bjork, Texas A&M’s athletic director, made that clear today, saying that the Aggies “want to be the only SEC from the state of Texas.” Jimbo Fisher had some fun when asked about the rumors today.
A&M coach Jimbo Fisher asked if Texas, OU would like to join the SEC: "I bet they would. I'm just worried about A&M. Listen, we got the greatest league of all. … I'll control what I want to control here."
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) July 21, 2021
Texas and Texas A&M had one of the sport’s more heated rivalries before the Aggies left the Big 12 for the SEC. Despite plenty of people urging the two sides to work out a series, they haven’t played since 2011, before conference realignment took hold.
This would bring back that big rivalry, but it would decimate the Big 12 in the process.
It’s unclear how far down this road we are, but based on the lack of flat denials all around from all sides of this, there is definitely some serious smoke here.