Nine years ago Missouri and Texas A&M's departure from the Big 12 to the SEC set off the last round of Power 5 conference realignment. A report from the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday suggests two of the biggest brands in college sports may be close to making the same move the Tigers and Aggies made in 2011.
Brent Zwerneman from the Chronicle reports that Texas and Oklahoma have "both reached out to the Southeastern Conference" with an interest in joining the league. Zwerneman cited a "high-ranking college official" as his source for the bombshell revelation. That source added that an announcement regarding the move could come in a couple of weeks.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, attending the conference's annual Media Days in Hoover, AL, declined comment. Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Sankey would only say, "I do not respond to anonymous sources".
More no comments - but no denials - from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey during an interview with @SINow: "I do not respond to anonymous sources."Asked if the league was interested in expansion, Sankey said, "I'll refer you to my previous answer."— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 21, 2021
The University of Oklahoma issued an official statement responding to the report saying, "The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don't address every anonymous rumor."
OU's in-state rival, Oklahoma State, issued a strong statement condemning any move by the Sooners out of the Big 12. The statement said in part, "If true, we would be gravely disappointed. While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 nationally."
Should OU and Texas join the Southeastern Conference it would make the SEC the first Power 5 league to expand to 16 teams.