Five thoughts on the OU/Texas and SEC rumors
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Earlier today, I published a story on Kentucky State's efforts to potentially reclassify to D-I and join the MEAC. I figured there was a decent chance that would be the biggest conference realignment story of the day.
By now, I'm sure you've seen the news. The Houston Chronicle reported that Texas and Oklahoma had reached out to the SEC about potentially joining. AL.com confirmed that conversations had taken place, and that "Texas and Oklahoma had already taken steps to facilitate a possible move." Both Texas and Oklahoma gave statements addressing the rumors, and neither came anywhere close to denying anything.
The news is true, sources confirmed toSports Illustrated: Texas and Oklahoma have made serious inquiries with the SEC about joining the conference; the schools have both delivered to the league a clear message that they are exploring an exit strategy from the Big 12.
There are rumors of P5 conference realignment that spring from message board fever dreams, and rumors that spring from reality. The current Texas and OU conversations fall squarely in the latter camp. Whether the Longhorns or Sooners ultimately end up in the SEC or not, it is fair to say that it has become a capital t Thing.
I'm sure I'll be writing about this again in the near future, but now that I've had a chance to properly read all the reports, make a few phone calls, and think for a second, I have a few high-level thoughts on how to consume realignment rumors, who may benefit from this arrangement, and where other stakeholders may go from here.
Remember who actually makes these decisions
Honest to Goodness conference realignment information is some of the most Need To Know intel within a university. College coaches, even prominent coaches at important programs, do not make decisions about conference affiliation, and in many cases, are told very little about what goes on behind the scenes. Outlets whose athletic department contacts are primarily coaches (think radio stations, recruiting websites, etc) are less likely to actually have the goods on conference realignment updates.
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