Big 12

Fans and a Texas Lawmaker Weigh in on Rumors about UT, OU Wanting to Leave Big 12

Reports of UT and OU wanting to join the SEC have the sports world in a buzz

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The two powerhouses of the Big 12, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma, are rumored to want to say 'bye' to the Big 12 and join the Southeastern Conference, according to reports.

The Houston Chronicle first reported the bombshell insights on Wednesday. Since then, the sports world has been buzzing with speculations.

"It was so shocking, it just came out of nowhere," said Kevin Sherrington, a sports columnist for the Dallas Morning News. "I wrote in my column today that just last week at the Big 12 meetings, I consider writing a column saying that Big 12 and never seemed more stable and how foolish would I look now if I had."

He said he's been talking to his sources trying to get answers to all the chatter.

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"Well, I talked to a lot of people yesterday and the feeling is that yes, there are a lot of big money boosters who would love to go to the SEC, they're tired of the Big 12, tired of losing to teams to Iowa State, if you lose to Alabama or Georgia it doesn't look nearly as bad as losing to Iowa State."

Both UT and OU are not really saying much about the reported rumors.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the University of Texas said, "Speculation always swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation."

OU had a similar response and a spokesperson for the university said, "The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly. We don't address every anonymous rumor."

"There have been no outright denials, people have said we're not going to comment on speculation or rumors," said Sherrington.

This wouldn't be the first time a school from the Lone Star state has left the Big 12, which the main office is located in Irving. In 2012 Texas A&M joined the SEC, along with the University of Missouri.

Two members of the 14 from the SEC would have to approve welcoming UT and OU to the conference if the rumors prove to be true.

"I can think of at least one that's not going to. Texas A&M is not going to vote for Texas to become a member. That's one of the reasons, that's the main reason they left the Big 12 was to get away from Texas," said Sherrington. " I would think that perhaps Missouri might be against it as well and they also left the Big 12, and one of the reasons they left was because of Texas, so that's two, but that's really all I can come up with, I can't think of a reason why one of the other schools would have an ax to grind with Texas, a program that's very rich would bring a lot to the SEC, even though the SEC has a lot going for it."

There would be other hurdles too, such as TV contracts worth millions of dollars and other red tape.

Even lawmakers have something to say about the rumors.

Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano, posted on Twitter that he's working on a bill that would require legislative approval for UT to leave the Big 12. He believes such a large economic decision could have a negative impact on communities and businesses across the state.

Fan Reaction

Fans and former athletes also have their feelings about the headlines.

Chykie Brown, a former UT cornerback who played under Mack Brown, said if this ends up being true, it's a huge deal.

"I feel like it would change the game, it would bring a lot of attention and that feel back to UT football," said Brown. "I'm pretty sure I could speak for other guys that played in the Big 12 before and all these years of talking about the SEC being the best, and all that I'm pretty sure other guys would like to have a shot at that."

Chykie Brown, Number 8, played cornerback for UT from 2006 -2010.

"The two teams that have always been the best in the Big 12, to go to a different conference like the SEC and show what we've been having for years or to show the type of talent that we have in the Big 12," said Brown.

"I think they're rumors right now, but I hear that they're pretty credible, so I think as an OU fan we need to anticipate what it's like in the SEC," said John Botefuhr, an OU alum who sits on the board of the OU Club of Dallas.

"We are a great institution for football, we are not afraid to play anyone, anywhere in any conference," said Botefuhr. "Joining the SEC, personally I think would be a pretty cool idea because we would be on a huge stage with a lot of media presence."

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