After Wednesday’s mid-SEC Media Days bombshell news about Oklahoma and Texas exploring jumping ship to the league, the Big 12 and its member schools probably aren’t too thrilled. Oklahoma State, OU’s in-state rival, has already released a statement about the reports.
Based on follow-up reports, the Big 12 was not aware that the schools would be reaching out to the SEC. Things appear to have broken down after the league asked its schools to extend its current Grant of Rights deal five more years, until 2030.
The Cowboys put out a statement today about the reports. Oklahoma and Texas leaving the league would completely upend the Big 12, and call its status as a “Power Conference” into question. It’s no surprise that OSU is looking to protect itself.
“We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached the Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC,” the statement says. “We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed.”
Oklahoma State with an assertive statement. pic.twitter.com/BybBf6nCFZ
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) July 21, 2021
One of the main negatives of any round of conference realignment is the destruction of the history and traditions that help make college football special. Oklahoma State mentions as much here.
“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 and nationally.”
Years ago, Oklahoma State was involved in the last major rumors about UT and OU jumping ship. Those three and Texas Tech were reportedly involved with the Pac-12, which had just added Colorado and Utah as well, before things fell apart. If the Big 12 loses those two cornerstone programs, you may see OSU and the remaining schools scrambling, looking for new homes across the other Power Five leagues.
Oklahoma State has 115 all-time games against Oklahoma, by far the most it has played against any other school. It’s history with Texas is less significant, with 35 games, most of which have come since the formation of the Big 12 with the merger of the Big Eight and Southwest Conferences in the 1990s.