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Oklahoma State Football

Oklahoma and Texas Looking to Join SEC? If it's True, What's Next for OSU?

July 21, 2021
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STILLWATER – In a copyright story published on Wednesday afternoon on houstonchronicle.com, Texas A&M and college sports reporter Brent Zwerneman wrote that a source close to the situation in the SEC told him that both Oklahoma and Texas have made inquiries to the Southeastern Conference about joining that league. Back in 1994 it was those two schools, Oklahoma and Texas, that were the founders of putting together the Big 12 Conference. Zwerneman’s story received a no comment from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, who is with Zwerneman and most of the media that covers the SEC and it’s schools as well as a lot of national college football media in Hoover, Ala. at the SEC Football Media Days.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/texas-sports-nation/college/article/Texas-Oklahoma-reach-out-to-SEC-about-joining-16330080.php

Obviously, this is a huge story and could set college athletics on a course that would change the landscape of Division I college football, could speed the sport toward a more compact and elite grouping, and might even cause a change to the governance of major college athletics.

Remember that the Big 12 holds the first and second tier television rights to the conference members and the television contracts with ESPN and FOX extend through the 2025 seasons.

USA Today Sports
Television agreements in the Big 12 would impact the timetable.

The most important aspect of this potential story to Oklahoma State University, its’ teams, and its’ fanbase is what would happen to its’ football program and athletic department as a whole.

First, lets look at the validity of the story. Zwerneman is a veteran reporter and one that is not prone to throw out a story without being certain of his source(s). He covers Texas A&M and a lot of his sources would be there, but this story made you feel that the source is more at the conference level.

Checking around and I tried multiple individuals at Oklahoma and there was no knowledge of the situation. Meanwhile, a source, a very reliable one at Texas told me that athletic director Chris Del Conte was caught somewhat off guard and that the Texas involvement was at the Board of Regents, President, and highest donor levels.

The changing landscape of college football and athletics could be at play here. Within this month we’ve had athletes begin to make money, in some cases big money, on Name-Image-and-Likeness. Just last week the President of the NCAA talked that the organization has become more and more ineffective and that it’s usefulness may be dwindling.

The new proposal for an expanded College Football Playoff to 12 teams and more games makes way for the likely scenario of multiple teams coming out of the most elite and competitive conferences. That could be sparking schools to look for those most elite conference situations. The new proposal also guarantees a place for the top six conference champions. On the surface, that would look easier to accomplish in the Big 12 than possibly being in the top two or even top three in the SEC.

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Oklahoma State success would guarantee they would have a solid landing spot in college realignment.

As for Oklahoma State, the Cowboys have a resume’ right now that is going to keep them pertinent and in a good situation. Oklahoma State has 52 NCAA team championships and is fourth behind all Pac-12 schools in Stanford, UCLA, and USC. This school year, Oklahoma State had every one of it’s athletic teams make postseason and OSU finished 18th and second in the Big 12 behind the Texas in the 2021 Learfield-IMG Director’s Cup a all-sports standings of how schools performed during the school year. Oklahoma was 24th in the standings. Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, and LSU all finished ahead of Oklahoma State, but that means eight SEC schools were behind OSU in the standings.

The most important sport is football and Oklahoma State fans can thank Boone Pickens and others for their contributions to get Oklahoma State football facilities where they all and then Mike Gundy, his staff, and all the Oklahoma State players during the Gundy tenure as the Cowboys have had 15 straight winning seasons with 15 straight bowl games, four of those New Year’s Six games. Oklahoma State overall is 11th in winning percentage in the last decade in college football. During the Gundy tenure his teams have a winning record against Top 25 teams and have wins over Georgia, Texas A&M, Missouri, Mississippi State, and Alabama in the SEC. The wins over Missouri and Texas A&M came when they were members of the Big 12 and before they departed for the SEC.

The most likely scenarios if this situation were to advance with Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

1.       The SEC expands to 24 teams with two 12-team divisions. This would be possible, and Oklahoma State would be one of those teams.

2.       Oklahoma State takes their resume’ and joins the ACC, which would be looking to expand.

3.       Oklahoma State takes their resume; and joins the Pac-12, which likes to call itself the “Conference of Champions” and the 52 at OSU would only add to that.

4.       Take the remaining members of the Big 12 and try to add prominent schools such as Boise State, BYU, or any schools that could be convinced to bolt their league and create a new Power Five league. This would be very difficult.

Discussion from...

Oklahoma and Texas Looking to Join SEC? If it's True, What's Next for OSU?

3,776 Views | 20 Replies | Last: 2 days ago by NJAggie
CaliforniaCowboy
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Sweet.... likely we would get the Aggies back, as they seek to avoid being linked to Texas ever again... and possibly Arkansas and Missouri.... who knows.

TUSKAPOKE
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If true, the only group to blame is the Big 12 leadership and their lack of aggressive actions to solidify the conference. There has been opportunities to raid a conference to the west and build a super conference for the future and nothing happened. This is about money and will be the death to the NCAA committee approach to running a billion dollar business. That does not bother me too much as the NCAA has shown to be inept at most functions with their current approach. Our leadership must take care of OSU because the leadership at OU has no connections to OSU anymore. Go Pokes!!!
Dantana
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Robert does OU really
Have any allegiance or loyalty to OSU? Would they not leave and take a better deal if they got it?
Orangeheart72
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OSU has become more of a thorn to OU than they appreciate I suspect. Gundy has not beat them often, but he's had 2 or 3 near misses that likely OU realizes could have gone the other way. And OSU is seemingly breaking a bit of OU's invincibility as regards in-state football recruiting. Plus....we're on the edge of pulling away from OU in basketball, and if we keep this coach, perhaps with a lot of strategic advantages in Oklahoma based recruiting. I see no good coming from SEC ties for OU or OSU, BUT....perhaps under the covers, this will be the new minor football league running its own type of show and championship structure as well as THE place for the top players to make decent money. Who knows.
CaliforniaCowboy
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maybe the NCAA needs to break up into a football league and a basketball league... where the football schools go to a conference like the SEC (OU, Texas, tOSU, ND, FSU, Clemson, Miami, etc)

and the rest go to, say, the B12 for a basketball league, like Kentucky, Illinois, UCLA, etc....

Danny Deck
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This is going to be a deadly round of musical chairs. As Bill Connelly put it, OU and Texas to the SEC is the nuclear option. Other than the ACC or Big 10 corralling Notre Dame, no other blue bloods are on the table.

We might be okay, because no other options bring any eyeballs with them either, and the other conferences will need to match the SEC for game inventory if not game quality inventory. Still, there is no combination of us and anyone that will provide a new conference the windfall Texas and OU provide to the SEC.

Hopefully we can end up in a situation that's not substantially worse than we're in now.
NJAggie
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The more I think about this one, the more I don't have too much concern for it. OU and UT staying in the Big XII, IF the playoff goes to 12 means they'll both have a lock on a playoff spot if they can finish 1 or 2 in the conference. Going to the SEC they'd be in a fight with 4 other schools for 1-3 slots over there. So the pure math makes no sense.

The only way it makes sense is if the networks have told them they need to move because they aren't paying top money for the Big XII.

Honestly if they do move it could be the best thing to happen to the 8 remaining schools.

You could stay at 8, get to play 5 non-con games, and OSU, TCU, and KSU would finally have a path to the playoffs. We might never get 2 in, but that conference would put 1 team in the playoffs every year.

You could add one team, and have 4 non-cons and get the same benefits as above. This would probably be a BYU or Cincy move I would think.

The other option would be to go to 12 adding say USF, UCF, Cincy, and BYU. Then you can have a 8/4 schedule that works, and gives a pretty decent group of teams.

The worst move would be to add 2 and stick with the 9/3 schedule then you could see us in danger of getting missed for the playoffs some years.

There has been only one team to win a championship when playing a 9 game conference schedule so getting out of it should be a high priority for the league.
Danny Deck
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"The only way it makes sense is if the networks have told them they need to move because they aren't paying top money for the Big XII."

This has certainly been telegraphed right?

The Big 12 wanted 60 million for its odd year conference championship games only. Instead we got 40 million for the championship games and all of the third tier rights for not OU and Texas.

OU's 3rd tier rights deal with what's now Bally Sports expires in 2022. I believe they were getting 7ish million a year from that. Now they're faced with the prospect of not getting that money and being on ESPN+.

ESPN/Fox refused to do an early renegotiation of the deal earlier this year. You'd think just adding OU's third tier rights would be worth some token change to the deal.

So, the best OU/Texas could hope for is probably that the Big 12 media deal stays flat at around 40 million in the next negotiation. Meanwhile, the SEC is about to be around 65 million when ESPN gets the CBS games. I saw one estimate of OU/Texas being an increase of 20 million/year/school for the SEC. So they could nearly double their media value by jumping.
CaliforniaCowboy
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TV deals (for all leagues) will continue to be flat or decline, because the interest in sports programming is on the decline (even the NFL and NBA).

ESPN has been struggling for a long while now, cutting programs and personalities.

The young kids don't watch that much broadcast or cable TV and the older folks are getting where they (we) just don't care that much.

Programming his moving more and more to Internet streaming services, which will further erode interest in general NCAA football, as fans pay for only the programming that they care about.

I suppose we'll have to see what happens in the future, but for this rumor.... it's just a rumor.... we've heard a ton of them over the past 5 years.
NJAggie
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Absolutely, this is about OU & UT trying to avoid taking a pay cut.

There is no push towards super-conferences.

The other conferences are not looking to expand. Now if OU and/or UT come knocking you're going to talk to them.

aTm was just able (and probably knowing they had at least 6 votes against UT) to give UT a bloody nose, and make it harder for UT to find a way out of the Big XII or going Indy.

One thing that could be really funny is if the SEC let UT know they're out, and OU is in. What would OU do, and who would the SEC take with them.

NJAggie
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I think this is beyond rumor. It's pretty clear that they were negotiating back door through a lawyer. aTm leaked this to the Houston paper to get this out. It was being done by the UT President and Chair of the BOR. The OU players have not been revealed but probably the same.

Frankly I don't find it surprising that they would be looking out for themselves. What would be crazy and different was those two looking out for the conference.

But, on just a base level, I'd think that every school would be out there trying to find out what is going on, and if they need to move so they weren't blindsided by what happens next.
Joe Khatib
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Texas A & M wants no part of Texas in the SEC and the machine gun they were firing from had a melted barrel after they finshed using it. It will be interesting to see if they can find two other teams besides them and Missouri to block such a move.
CaliforniaCowboy
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NJAggie said:

I think this is beyond rumor. It's pretty clear that they were negotiating back door through a lawyer. aTm leaked this to the Houston paper to get this out. It was being done by the UT President and Chair of the BOR. The OU players have not been revealed but probably the same.


I don't know where you came up with that information, what I said was taken from the article - at a President or BOR or Donor level.

I don't see how it is clear at all the some goofy lawyer is involved with back-door negotiations, and you didn't give us anything that would make it more clear.

I'm not trying to get personal or start a you said / he said.... I simply echoed the rumor and speculation that was already printed in these articles.

the only facts are that nobody knows nothing, and some yahoo started a rumor. That's all I've seen reported.

Ostateman
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CaliforniaCowboy said:

Sweet.... likely we would get the Aggies back, as they seek to avoid being linked to Texas ever again... and possibly Arkansas and Missouri.... who knows.

This will NEVER happen with the current NCAA and conference affiliation. NONE of those schools mentioned are leaving the money of the SEC. NONE OF THEM! And who wants the Aggies back anyway?!

The only way we'll be aligned with those schools ever again is by OSU joining the SEC or the NCAA being disbanded (which would be great and even the NCAA is seeing the writing on the wall as their influence wains) and replaced by an NFL type of organization that reorganized "conferences" based on regional similarities and natural rivalries. .



I know there are rules, but do we really want to follow them now?
Ostateman
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I would think Arkansas, Mizzou, aTm, LSU and perhaps a few of the SEC bottom feeders might oppose Texas (and ou) from coming in and making it more difficult for them to get another couple of wins over the season.

So, let's say the SEC rejects ou and UT from joining. Now what? We have two conference *****s that we know have put their wares on the street showing us no consideration.
I know there are rules, but do we really want to follow them now?
Danny Deck
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If the SEC rejects them, one of the other 3 will take them because they don't want to stay in the Big 12 and they offer too much money.
TUSKAPOKE
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Follow the $$$$$$$ is what this is about. SEC schools got $60 million pay days from last season and Tiny 12 teams got about $38 million. The Shorthorn steers and Zero U have no allegiance to this conference. If their play is to get more money at the expense of the other eight universities then let them go. These two, especially UT with the Shorthorn Network, had little respect and no real regard for the other members. Let's just get this slow moving damn Power 4 conference 64 team realignment done and make sure we have a seat at the table. It is now survival of the fittest and we are fit. Some in the Tiny 12 will not be invited to the football party and that is tough. Let the Shorthorn steers and Zero U go to the SEC and get their azzes handed to them. The SEC is looking at the 12 team playoff as a money maker when they get six teams in year in and year out. Let the games begin!
NJAggie
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Chris Brown said it on the RA show yesterday afternoon.
CaliforniaCowboy
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yeah, sorry, I was half a day behind the "breaking news"....

we've heard it all before.
NJAggie
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Well here are some numbers Adam Lunt put out on Twitter. The qualification for this round of expansion is how many people are going to be watching your football team. So here's the numbers with OU/UT games included and without them.



If that is the case, and I think it is, then OSU will be hearing from all three or four conferences because 16 may not be the goal, all that 4x16 stuff has come from sports writers not from conferences and that's where the membership and TV contracts lie.
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