Oklahoma and Texas to Join SEC and Add to a Juggernaut
Although Oklahoma has not won a national football championship since the 2000 season, it has reached the college football playoffs four times since 2015. Its men’s and women’s gymnastics programs are among the most formidable in the country, and the university won this year’s national softball title.
Texan football has had a turbulent 21st century. Although the university won a national championship at the end of the 2005 season, the Longhorns haven’t even won a conference title since the 2009 season, when they last played for a national championship. This season will mark the debut of Texas’ fourth head coach in less than a decade.
But Texas has prospered in other areas. The men’s swimming program is revered and the university has also won titles this year in women’s rowing and women’s tennis, propelling the university to win the 2020-21 Directors Cup, awarded annually to the top college track and field program. from the country.
Oklahoma and Texas ‘flirtations with the Alabama-based SEC only became public last week, when The Houston Chronicle signaled schools’ interest in the league change. No university has denied the report. More tellingly, neither of them pledged allegiance to the Big 12 and instead insisted that they would not respond, as Texas puts it, to “rumors or speculation.”
Few were aware of the scale of the schools’ interest – even some SEC athletic directors said they knew nothing until the Chronicle article appeared – and predictable eruptions followed. .
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork, for example, has strongly argued that the Aggies want to be the only Texas team in the SEC.
On Monday, as A&M’s frustrations faded – they finally voted to extend the invitations to defectors from the Big 12 – Oklahoma and Texas gave the Big 12 the college sports equivalent of divorce papers: opinions that they would not renew their conference-related media rights agreements on their expiry in 2025. The notices were crucial steps in a difficult process that can offer celebrity tricks for administrators, politicians and, of course, lawyers. , who could very well begin to unravel the Big 12’s ties with Texas and Oklahoma.
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