Texas and Oklahoma are leaving the Big 12 and joining the Southeastern Conference.
The two teams have officially accepted invitations to become members of the SEC starting in July of 2025, but recent events suggest that it could happen much sooner than that.
The SEC is well-known for the quality and successes of its head coaches, and among the most heralded is Mike Leach of Mississippi State.
Leach has completely turned around programs across the nation, most recently including Washington State and Texas Tech.
He was at Tech from 2000-2009, a bright period for the Red Raiders in the Big 12. The team won 11 games in 2008, making its way all the way up to No. 2 in the polls.
Tech won eight games in the fall of 2002, 2005 and 2007.
Now, he'll look to continue improving a Mississippi State team that seemed to get its feet under it toward the end of the season, finishing out 2020 with a 4-7 overall record (regular season and postseason combined.)
Leach is the only current SEC head coach to have experience in leading a team in both the SEC and the Big 12, and recently spoke with The State about conference realignment.
“It won’t be simple,” Leach said Friday. “Suddenly some of these people just simply get jealous and don’t want to be left out. Then in the state of Texas and Oklahoma too, some of those schools that don’t get selected are going to be battling the ones that did — (it’s a) ‘no, you can’t without us’ type of thing. Obviously the attorneys are going to make out like bandits on this.”
Leach didn't elaborate a great deal on how he would specifically align the teams in the new SEC, but did say he favors a four-team pod system as the conference expands.
It will be interesting to see if that's the way things shake out as the situation continues to evolve.