The myriad thoughts posed by the speculation that Texas and Oklahoma are months absent from signing up for the SEC begins with this: Are we truly doing this once again?
10 a long time following college football’s map was drawn and redrawn amid substantial realignment, the Longhorns and Sooners have the probable to usher in a model-new landscape defined by 16-workforce behemoth conferences that dismiss geography, historical past and rivalry in chase of much larger and greater tv contracts.
According to a “substantial-rated college official” cited by the Houston Chronicle, the initially outlet to report the tale, the Longhorns and Sooners are poised to depart the Huge 12 in favor of the SEC “inside a pair of months.”
It is not just possible but remarkably plausible that these two nationwide powers have inquired about becoming a member of the nation’s strongest conference, specially specified the millions of dollars in yearly payouts separating groups in the Large 12 from the SEC.
The SEC generated $729 million in overall profits through the 2020 fiscal year and the meeting dispersed about $45.5 million to each individual of its 14 member faculties. In comparison, the Large 12 reported profits of $409.2 million for fiscal calendar year 2020. Payouts ranged from $37 million to $40.5 million amongst its 10 member colleges. SEC profits is set to enhance with a 10-12 months deal with ESPN well worth about $300 million every year, which is scheduled to go into result in 2024.
“Speculation always swirls all over collegiate athletics,” Texas explained in a statement. “We will not tackle rumors or speculation.”
But the speculation will come with further thoughts and sticking points. Particularly:
- Is this form of enlargement and realignment sensible?
- What would take place to the Big 12 — or, improved nevertheless, the relaxation of the Bowl Subdivision?
- Why would the relaxation of the SEC go together?
- And does this shift make any feeling from a soccer point of view?
Realignment on this level — with two of the most important names in the heritage of the sport investing one particular Ability 5 meeting for another — is far more than practical supplied the will of the 5 autonomy leagues to have additional manage more than rules, recommendations and rules, the creation of various 16-workforce conferences seems virtually inevitable.
But this specific shift arrives with a selection of possible snags. 1 is irrespective of whether Oklahoma could leave driving Oklahoma Point out, or regardless of whether statehouse politics would prevent one condition university from leaving without having the other. In a comparable vein, Texas getting into the SEC would occur as information to longtime rival Texas A&M, which initially joined the SEC in part to chart a new path away from the Longhorns’ unsteady grip on the Massive 12.
“We want to be the only SEC team from the condition of Texas,” Texas A&M athletics director Ross Bjork claimed Wednesday.
Present Television set contracts present more complications. In addition to the SEC’s forthcoming contract with ESPN, the Significant 12 grant of legal rights settlement includes a clause created to dissuade teams from looking somewhere else. Need to a staff depart just before the finish of the 2024-25 yr, “that school’s media legal rights, such as profits, would remain with the Massive 12 and not its new meeting.”
This certain expansion would have a profound impression on the FBS, having said that. Texas and Oklahoma leaving for the SEC would go away 8 groups in the Big 12, and not one particular with ample nationwide sway to make sure the league’s extensive-expression survival. More than most likely, losing the Longhorns and Sooners would forged the rest of the Large 12 throughout the FBS. Even if the meeting survived, the Massive 12 would not have the talent base or countrywide pull to be taken seriously as a member of the present-day Energy 5.
The impact would trickle by means of the relaxation of the FBS as the Massive Ten, ACC and Pac-12 try to maintain up with the SEC by incorporating two or 4 teams. Existing customers of the Major 12 would be targets. So would groups in the American Athletic Meeting and, to a lesser diploma, the Mountain West. As normally, Notre Dame would be a primary concentrate on.
But why would the SEC want to develop, primarily a lot less than a yr after signing that mammoth offer with ESPN? The network would have to agree to a renegotiation with Texas and Oklahoma in the fold if not, the latest offer would be break up 16 means, not 14. What good does significantly less money — even if it would still be a big sum of money — do for groups in the bottom fifty percent of the SEC, which would then discover it even tougher to navigate toward mediocrity with two far more powerhouse programs on the routine?
Even the upper crust of the SEC would have to be convinced. Adding the Longhorns and Sooners does absolutely nothing for Alabama, which would not want one more premier opponent on its program to impress the College or university Football Playoff range committee. Likewise for Georgia, Florida, LSU or whichever group wins the convention championship if something, Texas and Oklahoma would make things additional complex.
And as the playoff ponders a 12-crew bracket with computerized bids for the 6 maximum-rated convention champions in the near long term, it’s well worth asking why the Longhorns and Sooners would willingly opt for to toss aside the relatively straightforward highway afforded by the Significant 12 for the treacherous pathway fashioned by a 16-group SEC.
It is a great dilemma for Texas, which are not able to even get to the prime of the Massive 12, and an even greater just one for Oklahoma, which has dominated the Massive 12 considering that the early 2000s and would appear to be to have a playoff place practically on lockdown when the bracket does broaden.
But these questions ignore the genuine driver at the rear of school soccer growth. Supplied the potential income made by a go to the SEC, of class the two packages have sought out a seat at the SEC’s desk. How could they not inquire?
“I bet they would,” Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher explained.
Contributing: Steve Berkowitz
Stick to faculties reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg