Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby called Texas' and Oklahoma's move to the SEC "silly," citing multiple reasons in an interview with CBS Sports.
"Their chances [to advance to the College Football Playoff] are better coming through the Big 12," he said. "That's a silly part of it. It's not very much money [difference], and competitively, they've got a better path [in the Big 12]. It makes no sense."
Competing in the SEC could present competitive issues, Bowlsby hinted. The Longhorns haven't won a conference title since 2009, but the Sooners have snagged six consecutive. Bowlsby added that conversations about the two programs being more successful in the SEC haven't been mentioned since they joined.
"Maybe it's a story that needs to be written," Bowlsby said. "If it's not about the money and it's not and not about competitiveness, what's it about? I haven't gotten any answers about that."
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Bowlsby called the decision to leave for the SEC a “personal betrayal” and said, “trust is at a relative low” between the Big 12 and the two programs.
“I’ve asked repeatedly [why they’re leaving], and they never made us aware of any concerns in advance,” Bowlsby said. “When we’ve asked the question since then, we’ve gotten no response.”
The SEC accepted Texas and Oklahoma into the conference following a vote in July, but likely won't be able to join for a few more years. The Big 12’s grant of media rights expires after the 2025 season, though the two programs could arrive in the SEC earlier.
The Big 12 went on to welcome four new teams—BYU, Houston, UCF and Cincinnati—less than two months later. BYU Athletics Director Tom Holmoe said during a press conference that the Big 12 will split into two football divisions as the conference returns to 12 teams. The other schools expected to remain in the conference include Texas Tech, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas and West Virginia.
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