College football conferences could look very different in the near future, as the hot-button topics of expansion and realignment are back in the news with Texas and Oklahoma reportedly exploring a move to the SEC. This offseason has been filled with several massive changes and seismic news within the sport, and the Sooners and Longhorns potentially joining college football’s best conference is another significant shake-up with major implications for other leagues and teams.
Athlon Sports is monitoring the latest news regarding college football expansion and conference realignment. This post will be updated with the latest news throughout the offseason.
The latest updates involving the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12, Texas, Oklahoma, college football realignment and expansion:
College Football Conference Realignment Rumors and SEC Expansion News
* Tuesday, August 3
* Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff met with his Big 12 counterpart Bob Bowlsby on Tuesday to discuss the potential for the two conferences to work together in the future. A partnership, merger or scheduling alliance have all been mentioned as potential paths for the two conferences to work together. Of course, this is all very early and nothing may materialize between the two leagues. But with the SEC expanding to 16, the other power conferences are certainly looking for ways to keep up with the top league in college football.
* Monday, August 2
* During a hearing at the Texas state legislature on Monday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby indicated there is no timetable for expansion into the conference to replace Oklahoma and Texas.
* Rumors circulated all over social media on Monday that Florida State and Clemson had reached out to the SEC about membership. However, as expected, there's no truth to those rumors. According to The Athletic's Grace Raynor, a Clemson spokesperson indicated "there is no truth to the report that Clemson University has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference regarding membership."
* Sunday, August 1
* Will the Bedlam rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State continue even though the two teams will no longer be in the same conference? Right now, the answer appears to be TBD. Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum indicated, "right now, there are too many unknowns to determine what the future holds."
* According to the Star-Telegram's Drew Davison, the state senate of Texas will hold a meeting on Monday regarding the outlook and future for college sports in Texas.
* Could the proposed expansion to the College Football Playoff be placed on hold? According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, that's a real possibility due to the SEC's move to add Oklahoma and Texas, along with the general uncertainty of conference realignment. According to Dodd's report, several administrators believe "the entire proposed structure and access to the CFP must be reevaluated as a result of forthcoming conference realignment as triggered by the moves of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC."
* Saturday, July 31
* Texas Tech is one of the programs looking at its options with Oklahoma and Texas moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. The Red Raiders would be a key part of any revamped Big 12, but a move to another conference isn't out of the question. Coach Matt Wells isn't too worried about realignment and expansion going into the 2021 season, however. "Tech will land in a great spot because of the power of the Double T," Wells said in an interview with EverythingLubbock.com. "It’s a great brand, academically, research institution, all of our athletic programs."
* Could the SEC's recent additions of Oklahoma and Texas slow the path to expansion in the College Football Playoff? SEC commissioner Greg Sankey had some interesting comments on the Paul Finebaum Show in regards to other conferences wanting to slow the process to a 12-team playoff:
Friday, July 30
* Oklahoma is officially headed to the SEC. The program's board of regents voted to depart the Big 12 in favor of the SEC beginning on July 1, 2025. However, it would not be a surprise if the Sooners joined prior to that date.
* As expected, the board of regents at Texas unanimously voted to accept the invitation to the SEC. Officially, the Longhorns plan to enter the SEC on July 1, 2025. However, as other moves in realignment have showed in previous years, that shift to the SEC could come earlier. Check out the full release from Texas here
Thursday, July 29
* Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby released a statement on Thursday night reacting to the move of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. "Today's SEC announcement reaffirms that these plans have been in the works with ongoing discussions between the parties and television partner for some time," Bowlsby said. "We are disappointed these discussions went as far as they did without notice to, or inclusion of, other Big 12 members. Despite our concerns for the process and for the overall health of college athletics, we will do everything possible to make sure that the student-athletes at both universities enjoy an excellent experience throughout the remaining four years of their participation and competition in the Big 12 Conference."
* It's official: The SEC has invited Oklahoma and Texas to become the league's 15th and 16th members. According to a release from the conference, the two programs will join on July 1, 2025. The Sooners and Longhorns are expected to accept invitations on Friday.
* ESPN has responded to commissioner Bob Bowlsby's claims the television network was attempting to steer current Big 12 members to other conferences and overall interference with the league. "The accusations you have made are entirely without merit," ESPN president Burke Magnus commented in a statement. The letter also indicates "ESPN has engaged in no wrongful conduct and, thus, there is nothing to "cease and desist." Read ESPN's full response here
* CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reports Big 12 athletic directors will meet on Friday to discuss the league's next steps.
Wednesday, July 28
* AL.com's John Talty reports SEC presidents and chancellors are expected to extend invitations to Texas and Oklahoma to become the 15th and 16th members of the league on Thursday.
* According to The Athletic's Chris Vannini, the American Athletic Conference won't issue a comment on Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby's claims of interference by the league. Bowlsby alleges the AAC was working to get three-to-five Big 12 members to depart the conference to join the American, which also had the support of ESPN.
* The Star-Telegram reports officials from TCU, Texas Tech and Baylor met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday.
* The SEC appears headed for a 14-0 vote to accept Oklahoma and Texas as members. The Texas A&M System Board of Regents recommended school president M. Katherine Banks to support conference expansion in the SEC:
* CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd reports Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby indicated to him "that ESPN has active engaged the American Athletic Conference (AAC) to pursue "3-5" Big 12 members join the league, suggesting it would be rewarded with "future television proceeds." Read the full report on CBS Sports here
* ESPN has responded to Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby's claims of interference by the television network in realignment and expansion discussions involving teams from the Big 12, American and SEC. “The claims in the letter have no merit.”
* Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger has obtained the full letter from the Big 12 to ESPN (we've linked the letter below). There's a notable passage in this letter, where Bowlsby indicates, "I am aware that ESPN has also been actively engaged in discussions with at least one other conference regarding that conference inducing additional Members of the Big 12 Conference to leave the Big 12 Conference."
* The Austin American-Statesman reports (as expected), Texas does not anticipate it will have any trouble reaching the necessary 11 votes for SEC membership. A Texas source told the paper "I feel like we have the votes."
* Sun Belt commissioner Keith Gill released a statement on Wednesday, indicating the conference is monitoring the landscape and developments in college football realignment and expansion.
* Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reports the Big 12 sent ESPN a cease and desist letter on Wednesday. According to Thamel, the letter demands ESPN stop "all actions that may harm the conference and its members and that it not communicate with the Big 12 Conference's existing members or any NCAA conference regarding the Big 12 conference's members, possible conference realignment or potential financial incentive or outcomes related to possible conference realignment."
What this letter means for the Big 12 is unclear. Is this an attempt by the conference to begin the process of rebuilding membership and ensuring no other team leaves the Big 12? Or is this letter hinting other teams could already be in discussion to pursue another conference?
* Thursday could be a massive day of news for college football. According to Jason Whitely of WFAA, SEC presidents are slated to meet on whether or not to invite Oklahoma and Texas into the conference. The Sooners and Longhorns need 11 of the league’s 14 members to approve their addition. All signs point to Oklahoma and Texas receiving the necessary votes to join the SEC.
* New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff discussed expansion and realignment at media days for the conference on Tuesday. During Kliavkoff’s opening address, it was clear the Pac-12 feels it doesn’t have to expand just because the SEC is going to 16 teams. But what if the league decides to add members? Athlon Sports takes a look at the best candidates for expansion.
* Want to catch up on the latest news in college football realignment and expansion and look at what could be coming in the next few days? Check out the Athlon Sports’ Cover 2 Podcast to get a quick recap on all of the latest in college football.
Tuesday, July 27
* There’s a decent chance this round college football expansion and realignment could have an impact on most of the Group of 5 conferences in the near future. Similar to the Mountain West yesterday, Conference USA released a statement indicating the league is keeping an eye on the happenings across the sport. “Conference USA continues to monitor the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics,” said commissioner Judy MacLeod in the statement. Our Board of Directors met Monday morning and will remain engaged, discussing recent developments and evaluating opportunities to strength and best position our member institutions collectively.”
* Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops released an interesting op-ed column in The Oklahoman on Tuesday. The former coach signs off on the program’s move to the SEC, stating “I believe this is a good and necessary move for the future of our school and football program.” Also, Stoops took aim at rival Oklahoma State’s comments from Monday. “I disagree with any claims asserted that OU’s decision is “to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma,” and that OU made it without “engagement and transparency.” You can read the full article here
* Baylor is one of the eight remaining Big 12 members facing an unsettled future in the conference. The Bears are the reigning national champions in college basketball, and the program has improved significantly on the gridiron over the last 10 years. However, if the Big 12 falls apart, it’s uncertain where Baylor might be able to finding a landing spot. School president Linda A. Livingstone released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, indicating “Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack B. Rhoades IV and I have been on the phone and in meetings non-stop since last Wednesday, when news of the potential departures of Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 initially came to light. We, along with the leadership of our Board of Regents and many others, are working actively and tirelessly to put our athletics programs and University in the best possible position now and into the future.” You can read the full statement here
* Oklahoma and Texas officially applied for membership in the SEC this morning, so it’s no surprise the Big 12 is still assessing the fallout from the departure of conference’s two best programs. This afternoon, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby released a statement acknowledging the move, as well as what’s to come for the conference. “The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year,” Bowlsby said in the statement. “The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for the transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes. We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success. We will face the challenges head-on, and we have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.”
* The Pac-12 is holding its annual media day summit on Tuesday. This gathering is the first opportunity for new commissioner George Kliavkoff to set the outlook for the conference for 2021 and beyond. As expected, expansion was mentioned for the new commissioner in his opening remarks to the media.
“If the media reports turn out to be true, we believe the move by Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 to the SEC strengthens our unique position as the only Power 5 conference with teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones,” Kliavkoff said. “We have a stable, highly successful, and well positioned membership with a high bar to entry. Given our investments in football and men's basketball, our historic domination of other sports, we do not think expansion is required to continue to compete and thrive. That said, the fallout from Texas and Oklahoma gives us an opportunity to once again consider expansion. We had already had significant inbound interest from many schools. We will work with our presidents and chancellors to evaluate these opportunities. We expect these decisions to take some time and we will not be sharing any further information today about ongoing expansion discussions.”
Translation: The Pac-12 has received interest from other programs and will consider it. However, the conference doesn’t feel it has to expand to keep up with the SEC.
* According to Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, both Iowa State and Kansas “made a run at the Big Ten.” That news comes as no surprise considering the recent events with Oklahoma and Texas departing the Big 12. Whether or not the Big Ten decides to expand remains uncertain, but the Jayhawks and Cyclones are doing all they can to find a new conference affiliation.
* Earlier today, the SEC received applications for both Texas and Oklahoma to join the league. Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement acknowledging the applications and the path ahead for both teams:
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses,” Sankey said in a statement. The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as the conference's Chief Executive Officers, will consider these requests in the near future. Per the Bylaws of the SEC, a vote of at least three-fourths of the SEC's 14 members is required to extend an invitation for membership.”
* Texas and Oklahoma have officially applied for membership in the SEC. In a joint statement released by the two programs, the Sooners and Longhorns hope to join the conference on July 1, 2025. Read the full statement here:
* Friday will be an active day in the world of college football. The board of regents for Oklahoma and Texas have scheduled special meetings to consider conference memberships:
Monday, July 26
* According to Chip Brown of Horns247, Texas and Oklahoma expect to make their formal application to the SEC later this week. The Longhorns and Sooners need 11 votes by SEC members to be accepted into the conference. That hurdle is not expected to be a problem for either program. Read the complete report here
* West Virginia is one of the eight remaining members of the Big 12 facing an uncertain future. Things have been relatively quiet from Morgantown, but athletic director Shane Lyons released a statement on Monday night. As expected, the statement didn’t break any news, but also made it clear the program won't sit idle and presented a case for why the program should be attractive for other conferences. “We are focused on ensuring that we provide opportunities to elevate their academic and athletic experiences at WVU,” Lyons said. “However, in addition to our student-athletes, we also understand the impact this announcement has on our University, our state and our Mountaineer fans around the world. We will continue to be highly engaged and extremely diligent in finding connections that strengthen our academic mission and allow our student-athletes to thrive in one of the most successful athletics programs in the country.” You can read the complete statement from Lyons here
* Texas Tech president Lawrence Schovanec is the latest administrator to weigh in on today’s developments with the Big 12. While the statement didn’t include any earth-shattering comments, Schovanec did indicate the program will do everything it can to improve its position in college athletics. “Rest assured that as we move forward, we will continue to spare no effort to strengthen our position within intercollegiate athletics, engage our fan base, position the university for success, and provide the financial means to sustain our athletics programs at the highest level.”
* Could Thursday be another key piece in the move of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC? According to Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, SEC presidents have called a meeting for Thursday:
* Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum released an extended statement through Twitter to comment on the news of Oklahoma and Texas refusing to extend the grant of rights with the Big 12 after 2025. The statement indicated Oklahoma State believes its in-state rival (and Texas) is in breach of Big 12 bylaws. We’ve copied Shrum’s entire thread below. You can read the thread on Twitter here.
Earlier today OU delivered a document to the Big 12 Conference office which indicated they will not sign the grant of rights agreement in 2024-25. This action was strategic, deliberate and is the result of months of planning with the SEC. We believe these conversations, which developed over a long period of time, are in clear breach of the bylaws of the Big 12 Conference and broke a bond of trust between our universities in existence for decades. It is difficult to understand how an Oklahoma institution of higher education would follow the University of Texas to the detriment of the State of Oklahoma. Nevertheless we are turning our eyes to the future and looking at what is best for Oklahoma State University. Over the last few days, I have received countless phone calls, texts and emails from high-ranking officials and members of the Cowboy family showing their support for OSU as we navigate the road ahead. Regardless of what comes next, OSU is dedicated to the State of Oklahoma. We remain confident @okstate is in the strongest position we have ever been in, and I am excited about the future of Oklahoma State University, our land-grant mission, world-class faculty and top-notch athletic programs.
* With realignment and expansion rumors flying around seemingly every minute, all 10 conferences are certainly preparing in case more moves happen in the near future. The Mountain West is one of those leagues, and the conference released a statement on Monday indicating it was keeping an eye on the landscape. “Our intent is to actively appraise various scenarios, identify potential opportunities and take actions which can positively impact the trajectory of the conference and our member institutions,” the statement indicated. “We will do our work confidentially and only comment further as appropriate or necessary.” The full statement is below:
* Following the news Oklahoma and Texas do not plan to renew their grant of rights with the league, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby released a statement on Monday afternoon:
“Although our eight members are disappointed with the decisions of these two institutions, we recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently,” stated Bowlsby. “The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships. Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond. The remaining eight institutions will work together in a collaborative manner to thoughtfully and strategically position the Big 12 Conference for continued success, both athletically and academically, long into the future.”
* Oklahoma and Texas departing the Big 12 is likely to have an impact on every conference across the college football landscape. It's no surprise every league is looking into options, which includes strategic scheduling or working alliances. According to Athlon Sports' Braden Gall, the Pac-12 and Big Ten could be looking into that type of scheduling alliance in the future:
* What's next for the Big 12? Athlon Sports dives into the options for the conference, which include expansion, a merger or the potential for falling apart.
* Whether or not the Big Ten expands to match the SEC remains uncertain. However, if the conference chooses to add, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reports the league would expand to members that hold AAU (Association of American Universities) designation. In that scenario, Iowa State and Kansas would meet that criteria from the Big 12, as well as a handful of teams from the ACC and Pac-12. The Cyclones and Jayhawks are the teams to watch here, as it's unlikely teams from the ACC or Pac-12 depart their current conference.
* Oklahoma and Texas have officially notified the Big 12 they will not renew grant of rights with the conference after 2025. According to a joint statement from the two programs, “both universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.
What the joint statement means is pretty simple. Oklahoma and Texas are prepared to leave the Big 12 and the next stop appears to be the SEC. Notifying the Big 12 is the first part in that process, with application in the SEC expected in the future.
Sunday, July 25
* Sunday's meeting between Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the executive committee and Oklahoma and Texas didn't appear to change the overall dynamic and what's to come for those two programs. According to 247Sports' Chip Brown, the Sooners and Longhorns still plan to notify the Big 12 their grant of rights will not be renewed at the end of the 2024-25 season. According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, the timing on Oklahoma and Texas informing the conference of that plan is "imminent."
* The Big 12 Conference Executive Committee and commissioner Bob Bowlsby met with Oklahoma president Joe Harroz and Texas president Jay Hartzell on Sunday. The meeting comes at a critical time, as reports have indicated both the Longhorns and Sooners will soon notify the conference of their intention to not renew grant of rights after the 2024 season.
"The meeting was cordial, and the Executive Committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the Conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as the other member institutions of the Conference, Bowlsby said in a statement released by conference. "I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact.”
* As uncertainty swirls in the Big 12, former Kansas State coach Bill Snyder took to Twitter express his optimism the league will survive:
* Assuming Oklahoma and Texas depart the Big 12, question marks surround the future of the eight remaining members of the conference. West Virginia is one of the programs facing an uncertain conference affiliation, but the Mountaineers should be on the radar if the ACC decides to expand. According to a report on The Athletic, “the ACC would be West Virginia’s preferred destination, assuming it ultimately chooses to leave the Big 12 and interest is reciprocated from the ACC.”
* The Pac-12 is the final Power 5 conference to go through media days, with the league taking the stage on Tuesday, July 27 in Hollywood, Calif. New commissioner George Kliavkoff will be under the spotlight for his first major appearance for the Pac-12, and it’s safe to assume the latest developments around conference expansion and realignment will be discussed. Kliavkoff has already discussed expansion in an interview with ESPN and staying at 12 teams is a realistic position for the conference. Additionally, in a report by CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, a “TV media rights insider said there's no value in, say, taking Texas Tech and Oklahoma State from the Big 12.”
* With the SEC expected to expand to 16 teams with Oklahoma and Texas, the focus will soon shift to the other four power conferences and whether or not those leagues will add or stand at their current alignment for now. Notably, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren indicated he has not sought any additions to the league since he replaced Jim Delany. Of course, things move fast in expansion and realignment in college football. Stay tuned.
Saturday, July 24
* The Big 12 is considering a proposal where Oklahoma and Texas would be awarded more revenue than the other eight teams in the conference. According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, that proposal was discussed during Thursday night’s meeting of Big 12 members (minus Oklahoma and Texas). The report indicates the conference could propose the Sooners and Longhorns would receive an extra half share of revenue, increasing the annual payout to around $56 million.
Keeping Texas and Oklahoma in the conference is a longshot at this point. However, the Big 12 has to at least throw a few proposals in the direction of Norman, Okla. and Austin, Texas to try and keep the conference intact.
* Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork was critical of a potential Oklahoma and Texas addition to the league during SEC Media Days but is striking a different tone on Saturday:
* Could the American Athletic Conference add a few Big 12 teams if Oklahoma and Texas leave for the SEC? According to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, “The AAC plans to act as an aggressor.” In other words, look for the AAC to explore the addition of teams from the Big 12 once more is known about the future of the conference and plans from Texas and Oklahoma.
* Texas A&M hasn’t been shy about expressing its disapproval of the SEC’s plan to add Texas and Oklahoma, and a board of regents meeting on Monday raised a few eyebrows on Friday. While there is certainly disappointment in College Station, school president M. Katherine Banks released a statement on Saturday to acknowledge the recent events, but also to signify the program will continue to bolster its relationship with the SEC:
“The last few days have been challenging in many ways, and I recognize that change in college athletics often is unsettling for those who love their institutions. Rest assured, the chancellor, our athletic director, and I, and everyone involved in this matter are focused solely on what is best for Texas A&M University. Since 2011, we have been a proud member of the best intercollegiate athletic conference in history and we look forward to continued success in our SEC partnership for many years to come.”
* With uncertainty hanging over the Big 12, it’s no surprise programs are considering options or laying the groundwork for a potential move in the future. According to KFOR sports anchor Dylan Buckingham, Oklahoma State has interest in the Big Ten and has been proactive about its next move.
Friday, July 23
* All signs continue to point to an active couple of days ahead in the world of college football expansion and realignment. Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News reports Oklahoma and Texas will notify the Big 12 on Monday of their intentions to depart the conference. The Longhorns and Sooners won’t be leaving right away, but both reports are a sign the Sooners and Longhorns are on track to become SEC members.
* It’s no secret Texas A&M isn’t in favor of Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC. While the Aggies aren’t happy at the moment, the program will benefit in the long run from the extra revenue coming to College Station with a bigger and better conference and a larger television deal. Nothing in regards to conference affiliation is expected to change with Texas A&M and in the SEC, but it’s noteworthy the program’s board of regents did call for a meeting on Monday at 5 p.m. CT to discuss “possible action on contractual and governance issues relating to Texas A&M University and the Southeastern Conference.”
* Assuming Oklahoma and Texas leave the Big 12, the focus would shift to the remaining eight schools in the conference. Expansion would almost certainly be on the table to get back to at least a 10-team league, but according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Sam Khan Jr., Thursday night’s meeting of Big 12 members produced some interesting discussion. According to the report, the conference floated the idea of a potential merger with the Pac-12. It’s an interesting idea to watch, especially considering one athletic director quoted in The Athletic’s article said: “Bringing in a Cincinnati and UCF doesn’t bring any eyeballs.”
* Baylor is one of the remaining eight Big 12 programs facing an uncertain future if Oklahoma and Texas depart for the SEC. On Friday, the school released a statement from president Linda A. Livingstone and athletic director Mack Rhoades, which indicated, “It is critical to our economy and Texas’ overall reputation to maintain five “Power Five” institutions, reinforcing the Lone Star State’s athletic preeminence.” Also, the statement indicated the school is “Actively engaged in conversations with our Big 12 colleagues and others to ensure our University is in the strongest position possible now and into the future.” Read the full statement here
* Oklahoma State president Dr. Kayse Shrum released a statement through Twitter also expressing disappointment with the latest developments in the Big 12. “We are disappointed by the lack of engagement and transparency from our colleagues at OU over the past months on a matter with serious ramifications for our state, “ Shrum tweeted. “We have historically worked together to advance our state and address issues based on a partnership built on trust. To that end, we will continue to work with purpose to the advancement of our state and the betterment of our fellow Oklahomans. In the ever-changing college athletic landscape, we will honor our values and ethics as we consider the next steps. Our commitment to our student-athletes is top of mind, and their best interests will be represented prominently. We enjoy a proud athletic heritage with more National Championships than any other Big 12 university, and we will aggressively pursue the opportunities ahead. Additionally, our university enjoys a great brand known for education, research, and service, and we will move forward with strength.
* Texas state legislator Dustin Burrows has filed a bill that would force any university in the state to have legislative approval before leaving to another conference. You can read the full release here
* New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN’s Heather Dinich the “Conference isn't actively seeking new members, but they're open to discussions with potential candidates.”
The Pac-12 doesn’t have any obvious candidates for expansion, but some of the remaining Big 12 programs could be of interest. The Pac-12 also doesn’t necessarily need to expand, but depending on how the dominoes fall elsewhere around the nation, the conference may have to consider a move.
* Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls reports the SEC hopes to offer Texas and Oklahoma membership in the league next week.
* The Athletic's Sam Khan reports Texas and Oklahoma will inform the Big 12 it does not intend to renew grant-of-rights with the league, which sets the stage for a departure. Also, the eight remaining members of the league are assessing their future in and out of the Big 12:
* Chip Brown of Horns247.com reports Texas and Oklahoma are leaving the Big 12:
* According to Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls, a Texas-Oklahoma move to the SEC is almost done:
* Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported the ACC and other leagues made inquiries to Texas and Oklahoma. However, both programs are still focused on a move to the SEC:
* Stadium’s Brett McMurphy indicated the process of Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC started in late December/early January:
Thursday, July 22
* Following the Big 12's meeting on Thursday night with eight programs (Oklahoma and Texas did not attend), the conference released some highlights of the call:
"Oklahoma and Texas are founding members of the Big 12 and we value their traditions and history of success.
The eight members strongly desire to retain the current composition, which has proven it can compete at the highest levels.
There is a recognition that institutions may act in their own self-interest, however there is an expectation that members adhere to Conference bylaws and the enforcement of the Grant of Rights agreements.
This is a time of dramatic change within intercollegiate athletics that presents both opportunities and challenges, and the Big 12 Conference looks forward to continuing to play a major role in its evolution." - (Source - Big 12 Conference)
* Thursday night's Big 12 meeting concluded with the programs seeking to discuss with Oklahoma and Texas why these two teams want to join the conference:
* Texas Tech Chancellor Tedd Mitchell has weighed in on the rumors of Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. And judging by his tweets, he's not exactly thrilled with the latest developments:
* According to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, Oklahoma and Texas are not appearing for Thursday night's meeting among Big 12 members.
* Another state legislator from Texas expressed his disapproval of the secretive process regarding the ongoing realignment and expansion:
* According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Big 12 athletic directors and CEOs will meet to discuss Oklahoma and Texas.
* Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com reported SEC presidents are slated to meet in Birmingham on Thursday.
* A complete breakdown of what is happening with Texas, Oklahoma and the SEC from Athlon Sports.
* As expected, state politics could factor into any realignment or move by a conference for expansion. Texas state representative Jeff Leach tweeted his intentions to propose a bill that forces the Longhorns to get legislative approval before leaving the Big 12.
Wednesday, July 21
* The Houston Chronicle reported Texas and Oklahoma reached out to the SEC about membership. If the Sooners and Longhorns join the SEC, it would be the first 16-team conference at the Power 5 level.
The Longhorns and Sooners aren’t officially leaving for the SEC yet, but the wheels are in motion for a round of conference realignment and expansion.
* Stadium's Brett McMurphy reported there is mutual interest between the SEC and Oklahoma/Texas.
* Notably, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey offered a no comment (and not a denial) when asked about Texas and Oklahoma.
* Also, Texas and Oklahoma both issued statements that didn’t deny interest in the SEC.
* While this story is just getting started, it’s clear Texas A&M is not in favor of its in-state rival joining the SEC. Athletic director Ross Bjork made that clear on Wednesday at SEC Media Days: