BIRMINGHAM, AL (WTAJ) — ‘Never say never’ is a phrase many around college football are being reminded of Thursday as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) voted unanimously to extend an invite to the universities of Texas and Oklahoma.
The schools will have to formally accept the offer to join the SEC, but unless the schools do a sharp about-face, change will come to college football.
The SEC will now have 16 schools, and will likely start a chain-reaction of conference realignment, with “super conferences” being all the rage. While many initial reactions thought that SEC schools wouldn’t be accepting of Texas and OU, many now believe the move has long been in the works. In an interview with The Dan Le Batard Show former ESPN president John Skipper alluded to the idea that ESPN likely knew of the school’s intentions before spending $300 million on exclusive rights to the conference.
The ordeal is playing out as a soap opera with a national audience. Wednesday Big XII commissioner Bob Bowlsby accused ESPN of trying to destabilize the conference, sending the network a cease and desist letter.
ESPN responded Thursday saying it had nothing the cease.
Texas and Oklahoma have both told the Big XII it would not renew it’s conference media rights in 2025, but expectations are that the schools’ lawyers will begin working to get the schools out of the conference sooner while minimizing the buyout fee.
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