football Edit

Texas/OU could set off realignment dominoes as early as next week

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Orangebloods publisher Geoff Ketchum and I have checked in with multiple sources on Wednesday and asked about Texas’ desire to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC.

Texas and Oklahoma are ready to make that move.

A high-level university official informed Orangebloods the expectation is that Texas and Oklahoma would inform the Big 12 as early as next week that both schools intend to decline on extending the existing set of media rights. The contract expires in 2025.

"That should start the dominos," the source told Orangebloods.

That major piece of news Orangebloods learned coincides with an earlier report on Wednesday.

Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman was the first to report Texas and Oklahoma reached out to the SEC about joining that conference. Zwerneman also said, “An announcement could come within a couple of weeks concerning the potential addition of UT and OU to the league, the person said, which would give the SEC 16 schools and make it the first national super-conference.”

In addition, Orangebloods was told a move to the SEC would signal the end of the LHN and that the school has come to terms with this. Another source told me he would not be surprised if LHN simply folded into the SEC Network (both are owned by ESPN).

The most interesting Texas-OU development centers around what has not occurred on Wednesday.

Texas officials routinely dismiss stories they believe are inaccurate. Not one media outlet in Austin cited an anonymous Texas source that disputed the reported league change.

In fact, our sources did not want to directly address the rumor.

I previously reported a high-level Texas official’s response to me was “nothing to say” when I inquired about departing the SEC. A few hours later, the same source told me “When I can talk, you know I will.”

Of course, Texas officials believe Texas A&M leaked the story to make it harder for the Longhorns to switch conferences. Texas officials believe the leak creates friction for Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 and SEC.

Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls reported Texas A&M and Missouri would vote against adding Texas and Oklahoma. Bohls said only two more votes against the Longhorns and Sooners would be necessary to prevent those teams from switching conferences.

However, a source told Orangebloods, “This will take some time but the interest by both sides is there.”