Texas A&M fans may not like this news, but it's slowly feels more official.
According to multiple reports, Texas and OU officials plan to inform the Big 12 on Monday that they won’t renew when the league’s grant of rights expire in 2025. This would take the two program a step closer to the path of formally accepting an offer to join the SEC.
As reported by Stadium's Brett McMurphy, Texas and Oklahoma officials reached out to the SEC in late December/early January to discuss joining the conference. The deal has been kept under wraps for months, but broke earlier this week when the Houston Chronicle released its report.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey was asked Wednesday if the reports were true. He did not comment of the two schools joined the conference as of this time.
“He gave me a strong rebuttal by saying, ‘No comment,’”Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said during his outing at SEC media days in Birmingham, Ala. “So we’ll see where that goes.”
Multiple teams will be affected by the move if Texas and Oklahoma were to join the conference. When the robberies would be renewed, such as Arkansas against both schools.
Arkansas played the Longhorns consistently during its time in the Southwest Conference.
“I’ll be honest with you. I really haven’t thought about that much,” Razorbacks second-year coach Sam Pittman said. “I’m so nervous about the schedule we have coming up … I haven’t paid much attention to it. I will say this: I know we’re going to play Texas this year. We play them Sept. 11, and we’re very excited for that.”
Perhaps the biggest thing to watch for is Texas A&M, who have been vocal about the former rival joining the mix. When asked on Wednesday what he thinks, A&M's Jimbo Fisher chuckled at the notion.
"I bet they would" Fisher said. "I don't know. I'm just worried about A&M, you know what I mean?"
Fisher later commented on The Paul Finebaum show how the SEC is the staple of college football, meaning if Texas were to join, they best meet the standards.
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“Listen, it’s the best league in ball, and I’m sure they would like to be here,” Fisher said Wednesday on the SEC Network. “That’s something commissioner Sankey and (others) will have to gauge and see if that’s something the SEC wants to do. … I’ll say this, though: Be careful what you ask for in this league.”
Should the Longhorns reunite with the Aggies in another league, the longtime rivals likely would again meet annually on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving weekend. The two have not played in football since the Aggies left the Big 12 in 2011.
All-time Texas leads the series, 76–37–5. Fisher has never faced Texas, either at Florida State or A&M.
Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork did not mince words when speaking on the situation.
"We love being in the SEC. We love being the only program in the state of Texas, and we're going to maintain that position," Bjork said Finebaum's show. "We're going to maintain that position, but we're also going to make sure that we're a leader in college athletics and we'll see what the future holds."
The SEC would have to vote in favor of the two schools joining the conference. Of the 14 programs, 11 must say yes for an invitation to be set.
AllAggies.com will keep you up to date with everything happening surrounding the Aggies and the current status of the SEC.
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