[Laugh at how I planned to open this article on Thursday:] So...uh...this is happening?
Analysis of Texas and Oklahoma’s potential move to the SEC. Sources indicate there’s a lot of serious momentum, not a lot of meaningful SEC resistance (sorry, A&M) and a potential financial boon down the road. OU and Texas are tied tight in this. https://t.co/tWI91h6SCW— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 22, 2021
Well, maybe it’s not happening YET, but the writing appears to be on the wall for the Big XII if Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners do finally answer the siren song of the SEC and agree to be just another southern team.
Edit: These responses trickled in throughout Thursday and into Friday, and since then it’s gotten even more obvious that this is happening and the ol’ realignment wheel is going to spin again. Or just skip to the comments if you already have your string and thumbtacks ready.
Do you think this move happens? Give it a percent chance and tell us your thoughts on Texas and Oklahoma’s ability to run in the SEC.
LPW: I highly doubt this will happen. Texas won’t give up the Longhorn Network.
Ok, if pigs fly and Texas does give up the LHN and joins the SEC with Oklahoma then they’re going to install much tougher defenses.
BRT: Oh Southerners. Always trying to remake and relive the Confederacy, aren’t they? Let it go guys, you lost. Anyway, from a competitive standpoint, I don’t really understand why this appeals to Texas... except that if there is one thing that Texas (state and school) has a consistent supply of, it’s a vision of itself that is in no way commensurate with reality. Based on their previous behavior and general high opinion of themselves, it seems to me that they’ve got a much sweeter deal as the ruler (well, minus that pesky Oklahoma) in a small fiefdom. In the SEC, they may believe themselves to be the king, but of course, they won’t be. They wouldn’t enjoy that, but whether or not they’re self-aware enough to realize the realities of the situation is an open question.
On the other hand. The SEC has all of the money, praise, and prestige that it needs and it certainly isn’t an afterthought or punchline. I’m sure it could only help recruiting. And, with 16 teams, they’re not necessarily playing Alabama every year. If your schedule winds up right, you might only have one or even none of the cream of the SEC, and even though the dredges of that conference are nothing special, the mythology of the SEC means that no one is going to give you grief for an easy schedule.
I can see the appeal for Texas and Oklahoma, though I mostly think it’s hubris rather than an actual good idea. Still, men making decisions based on hubris? I’d say it’s happening.
Kind of...: 50/50. When the story first hit, I was skeptical and didn’t think the SEC could make it worth Texas’s while. But it seems pretty serious. Still plenty of time for politicians to gum up the works. On a pure football level, Saban can’t coach forever, so both teams would have every opportunity to make a splash.
Stew: It probably won’t happen. I generally don’t get too wound up for expansion talk. There’s just so much wringing of hands and blowing of smoke with little actual deals. So, I’m going to just assume nothing is going to happen until it actually does. However, this would be pretty fun. The SEC has to deal with Texas, Texas gets beat down and bruised even further, the collapse of the Big 12. It’s pretty much all upside.
Green Akers: As I understand it, the two big obstacles right now are the Oklahoma legislature, which won’t let OU move without OkState, and Texas A&M, which responded pretty quickly to this story by declaring they want to be the only SEC team in Texas. That second part wouldn’t be an obstacle for the B1G, but OkState would…unless somebody else wants to make good on their taking-their-ball-and-leaving threats from last summer /glances over the plains.
RockyMtnBlue: I think it happens. I’m a little sad we’re not adding Texas to the big10. It would be fun to watch the OTE commentariat come to grips with the fact that Michigan doesn’t have the most annoying, most smug fans in the conference anymore.
Candystripes: Chances of it happening now, since rumors have broken? 95%. If you asked this same question a month ago, when no news had broken? 15%. And the only reason I think there’s even a 5% chance it doesn’t happen is if A&M gets pissy enough about sharing a conference with Texas again that they do something utterly crazy that forces the SEC’s hand. (What I think/hope that thing would be? A&M wanting in to the B1G, which I would love and LOL at.) Now, do I think either of OU or UT can actually run on anyone in the SEC outside the bottom 4-ish teams? NOPE. Welcome to Kevin Wilson’s Indiana Experience, folks. Prepare for a whole lot of 63-47 games, if you’re lucky.
HWAHSQB: I give it a 30% chance of getting done which is better than the zero chance of either team running in the SEC. Deep down, UT knows they aren’t that special. They won’t admit it out loud, but I think eventually they will throw a wrench in the works to avoid be exposed by the SEC.
I also just want to say how much I hate conference realignments. Why can’t we go back to ten teams in the B1G and the old bowl system??? (and it definitely isn’t just because Illinois hasn’t been good since PSU joined the Big Ten. Ok, it probably is that, but stay off my grass damnit!)
Percent chance Texas/Oklahoma to the SEC happens?
This poll is closed
Looks like the realignment wheel could spin again in a few years. Should the Big Ten make a corresponding move?
LPW: Fuck no. 14 teams is enough. Do we want to be stuck with Iowa State if the Big 12 implodes? We have enough TV Markets in our geographical footprint. I like our roster of schools academically and athletically.
BRT: I mean, I don’t love it, though it might mean the Huskers finally don’t have to play OSU every year, which would be nice. But of course, if the new standard becomes 16 teams, the Big Ten will have to follow. They might have to be more practical about it though - there aren’t other big-name programs out there that would be comparable to a Texas/Oklahoma pair, so it would be unrealistic to expect a corresponding move in that way. I’m not sure if “TV markets” are as big of a deal as they were ten years ago given how people’s viewing methods and habits have changed. The focus might instead be on a good recruiting area or simply shoring up a state with split loyalties (Iowa? Pennsylvania?)
Kind of...: I was fine with 10 teams. Fine with 11. 12. 14. I have my old-fashioned sensibility, but recognize the inevitability of change and need for pragmatism.
My first thought was Kansas and Virginia, assuming UVa/UNC couldn’t happen. I think it’s worth taking hoops seriously with NIL money likely to keep more good players in the NCAA for 2-3 years. [I have about six other scenarios, but let’s hold off for now.]
We all know this is about money, so I definitely pick up the phone with Fox. ESPN is more and more all about the SEC and ACC. I really consider trying to bring the Pac-12 and, for hoops, Big East, on board for some mega deal. Put a fence around those two conferences.
Oh, and if I’m a B1G team thinking I might need a new head coach in 2022, I call Ames, IA pronto. Matt Campbell has shown an impressive commitment to the Cyclones, but all bets are off if this happens.
Stew: Yes, kick out rutger, Maryland, UNL, and PSU.
HWAHSQB: I’ll probably not respect myself in the morning for saying this, but I agree with Stew. If we have to go to sixteen teams, give me Mizzou and Notre Dame. Then, at least I can have real hate for the new B1G teams rather than trying to manufacture pretend hate for rugster and maryland.
The other option I would approve of is KU football because then a certain team I root for would no longer be the pathetic laughingstock of the conference. I don’t particularly relish seeing Bill Self all the time, but at least he wouldn’t win a bazillion conference titles in a row in the B1G. Bring KSU with them so I can laugh at the fact that a KSU team has Illinois sloppy seconds as their head coach.
Green Akers: Yes, and Texas and Oklahoma is the move. There’s nothing else that doesn’t water us down somewhere—Notre Dame isn’t happening, and any other half-logical institutions would involve bringing on, for example, Kansas football. Hard no.
RockyMtnBlue: Yes: Remove all schools with the word “State” in their name. That leaves 11. Weird number. Kick Nebby to the curb, too.
Candystripes: Go to 16. Grab Kansas, K-State if you can, or ISU if you must. (Unless, of course, my potential LOL@DaESSEEECEE scenario from above happens, in which case grab A&M and TCU.)