Could Oklahoma’s soccer program consider participating in the nation’s top soccer conference?
Multiple news outlets reported Wednesday that Oklahoma and Texas have been in talks with the Southeastern Conference, better known as the SEC, about transferring their affiliations.
The Houston Chronicle first reported this story, stating that an announcement about this potential blockbuster move could be coming in the coming weeks. As you might imagine, the Chronicle’s story, by reporter Brent Zwerneman, lit up the media landscape and spread rumors throughout the social media world.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione denied the report, told reporters and then took the… Indianapolis Star Website:
“No. Come on man. I don’t even want to be associated with rumours. It’s like Groundhog Day.”
The OU AD added: “We look at the changing landscape like everyone else. We try to deal with all the new things that come our way, just like everyone else, and learn along the way.”
If Oklahoma were to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, the Sooners would participate in what is widely regarded as the strongest top-level football conference in college football. The addition of Oklahoma and Texas would only reinforce that claim and would set up the SEC as a super conference.
On the plus side, the Sooners and Longhorns would also be reunited with former Big 12 foes Texas A&M and Missouri.
There is no doubt that such a development would drastically change the college football landscape. Whether it would be good for the future of college football is anyone’s guess.
For the Sooners, however, the result would not be as promising. Oklahoma would no longer be the football powerhouse and king of Big 12 football that they currently are. OU would regularly compete against countries like Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida for a conference championship.
Given those hurdles, the likelihood of an extension to the College Football Playoff would be the most logical way Oklahoma could make the playoff. Under the current four-shift system, the chances seem very limited compared to the current situation.
Adding a few more teams would grow the SEC’s size from 14 teams to 16. However, it’s important to note that OU and Texas are currently tied to the Big 12 by a rights grant agreement in progress. through June 30, 2025, without a major financial exit penalty.
Ten years ago, Oklahoma and several other Big 12 teams considered leaving the conference and joining the Pac-12. The proposal was that the Sooners, Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would leave the Big 12 for the Pac-12, but an agreement was never reached and frankly, that was the wise decision.
That was during the period when four Big 12 schools left the conference and pledged their allegiance to other Power Five conferences. The resulting reshuffle left the Big 12 with 10 teams instead of the original 12.
The idea of having to watch the Sooners on the late TV window was never something Oklahoma fans enjoyed. And thank goodness that never materialized.
The Sooners have said in the past that they would not consider leaving the Big 12 unless state rival Oklahoma State was also part of it. This does not appear to be the case if the alleged discussions with the SEC are well founded.
But as intriguing as an Oklahoma connection to the almighty SEC may seem, the Sooners are better off staying as they are, with the conference they’ve been associated with for the past 102 years.
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