Bombshell rumors Texas, Oklahoma might be knocking at SEC’s door soon

Scooter Hobbs

HOOVER, Ala. — Of all coaches, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher was mid-interview at the SEC Media Days podium when the potential bombshell was dropped.

The Houston Chronicle report that Big 12 members Texas and Oklahoma had reached out about joining the SEC obviously caught Fisher off guard.

“I bet they would,” Fisher said after hearing the news in the midst of more routine football questions. “We got the greatest league in ball.”

The Chronicle story by Brent Swerneman, quoting a “high-ranking official with knowledge of the situation,” said an annoucement could come in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday there were only a host of vague non-denials.

“I’m going to focus on the 2021 season,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey repeated over and over again while wading through a throng of reporters.

He was making his way down his conference Media Days’ “radio row” when the news broke.

Both Texas and 

Oklahoma released similar statements.

“The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don’t address every anonymous rumor,” an OU release said.

Added the Texas version: “Speculation swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation.”

If it happens, it would make the SEC the first 16-team super conference.

But there would be numerous roadblocks, notably existing TV contracts that would have to be adjusted. Texas’ ESPN-based The Longhorn Network, for instance, would have to mesh with the the SEC Network, also part of ESPN. Plus, SEC bylaws require three-fourths of the existing conference members to approve any additions.

Texas and Oklahoma is not likely to get Texas A&M’s approval.

“That will be for somebody bigger than me to decide,” Fisher said later.

His boss surely won’t be for the expansion.

“There’s a reason why we left the Big 12,” Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork said told ESPN’s Paul Finebaum. “We wanted to have a stand-alone identity in Texas.

“We love being the only (SEC) program in the state of Texas. We’re going to maintain that position, but we’re also going to make sure that we’re a leader in college athletics and we’ll see what the future holds.”

The Aggies, longtime arch-rivals of Texas, left the Big 12 (along with Missouri) to join the SEC in 2011, playing their first football seasons in 2012.

Texas A&M was particularly annoyed when Texas and ESPN launched The Longhorn Network. During Big 12 Media Days of the time, A&M refused to let its players be interviewed by The Longhorn Network.

The two schools could also face opposition from within the Big 12.

A statement released by Oklahoma State read: “If true, we would be gravely disappointed. While we place a premium on history, loyalty, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program.”””

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher was caught off guard Wednesday at SEC Media Days when asked about Texas and Oklahoma possibly joining the SEC.

Jimmie Mitchell / Special to the American Press

SportsPlus

Business

Tellurian to be acquired by Woodside Energy Group in $900M all-cash payment

Crime

LSU cornerback arrested on accusation of video voyeurism, authorities say

Local News

Secret Service acknowledges denying some past requests by Trump’s campaign for tighter security

Local News

Biden wants to pass baton to Kamala Harris

Local News

BREAKING: Biden drops out of race

Local News

Secret Service chief noted ‘zero fail mission,’ facing calls to resign

Local News

Students explore possible careers in athletic training

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Constitution plan resurrected

high-school Sports

New concession stand added to plans for football stadium

life

Community rallies to support 3-year-old with brain tumor

Business

Jeff Davis School Board agrees to ITEP for solar facility project

Local News

Police Jury considers increases to grass ordinance fees

Local News

Qualifying ends, ballots set for November election

Local News

American Press winner of eight Louisiana Press Association awards

Local News

Allen Parish flood maps available for review

Local News

Ten Commandments won’t go in Louisiana classrooms until at least November as lawsuit plays out

Local News

Airlines, businesses hit by global technology disruption

McNeese Sports

Long road to McNeese

Business

Appeals court sends Commonwealth LNG decision back to FERC

Crime

Trooper arrested following off-duty DWI crash

life

Let’s Build A Robot: Allen middle school students learn to code, program at STEM/Robotics Camp

Crime

Police: Attempted rapist broke into woman’s apartment through bathroom window

Local News

Daily showers, thunderstorms expected over next week

Crime

BREAKING: Police investigating early morning homicide