Texas, Oklahoma faces a difficult-but not impossible-road to the first super conference of college football

Texas and Oklahoma are at the center of another major shift that may be the adjustment of college football—perhaps the largest in the history of the sport.

According to a report on Wednesday Houston Chronicle, Big 12 school has reached out to the Southeast Conference and joined another round of reorganization. “The Chronicle” quoted “a senior university official who understands the situation” as saying that their participation may be resolved by the meeting “within a few weeks.” The SEC will effectively become the first super conference of college football.

In an interview with the Chronicle, a Texas spokesperson claimed that he was unaware of the meeting with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and then declined to comment further. Oklahoma also issued a statement in response to this news: “The university track and field landscape is constantly changing. We will not deal with every anonymous rumor.”

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SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey declined to comment on the Chronicle, and later told reporters on the SEC Media Day that the conference would not go beyond this year.

“We are only worried about the 2021 season,” he said. “Some people have dropped the anonymous report.”

AL.com This confirmed the report of the “Chronicle” that “multiple college football insiders” confirmed that the Red River opponents had taken “multiple steps” to facilitate this move. Not sure if the schools are acting independently of each other or jointly trying to leave Big 12.

Longhorns and Sooners have been member institutions since the establishment of Big 12 in 1996, when the former Southwestern Conference School Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech joined Big 8. The conference suffered heavy losses in the last round of college football reorganization. At the turn of the decade, the founding members Colorado and Nebraska went to Pac-12 and the Big Ten respectively in 2011. Missouri and Texas A&M University followed suit and joined the SEC after the 2011 season.

Texas A&M Sports Director Ross Bjork said in response to the report in the Chronicle that the SEC advertisement has not yet discussed the issue of adding Texas or Oklahoma. He also sneered at the idea of ​​Texas joining the SEC. According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated:

If Texas and Oklahoma want to jump out of the Big 12, Bjork’s opposition to this move is not the only obstacle they face. The following is a breakdown of the multiple obstacles that may prevent schools from turning the SEC into a super conference:

Existing broadcast agreements with ESPN and Fox

According to a report Front office sportsIn fiscal year 2020, the SEC’s revenue was US$728.9 million, which was approximately US$300 million higher than the revenue reported by the 12 largest companies (US$409.2 million). This discrepancy, coupled with the new agreement between the SEC and ESPN-estimated to pay more than $300 million annually to meetings and scheduled to take effect in 2024-is for any outside team that wants to take advantage of the popularity of the SEC. It is tempting.

In addition, ESPN and Fox, which have 12 major broadcasting and streaming rights Reportedly refused to enter early television negotiations A meeting is held before the transaction ends in 2025.

In other words, Big 12’s existing rights transactions with these networks may disrupt potential negotiations between Texas, Oklahoma, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Texas has reached its own agreement with ESPN in the form of the Longhorn Network, which pays $15 million to the school each year and requires the network to broadcast 200 Texas track and field events every academic year until 2031.

In 2019, Big 12 and ESPN rescheduled their broadcast agreement — which will end in 2025 — allowing all member schools except Texas and Oklahoma to provide inventory to ESPN+. According to the Sports Business Journal, the agreement (By Austin American Statesman) To pay 22 million U.S. dollars to the conference each year. Oklahoma sold its tertiary rights to Fox.

It is possible that ESPN can rework the event Texas and Oklahoma moved to SEC Longhorn’s online transaction, but Fox may be upset in part with its two largest college football assets before the end of the 12 major contracts in 2025. . In addition, the addition of two SEC teams will reduce the amount each member institution receives from ESPN’s new copyright transactions; in transactions with the conference, ESPN may be forced to pay more annually.

ESPN can consider taking this move because it may be offset by future TV broadcast rights exchanges by the 12 giants that have been rejected and significantly less attractive.

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Top 12 exit fees

If Texas and Oklahoma leave Big 12 before the end of the TV deal, it will cost the two schools a lot of money. For example, Nebraska and Colorado paid $9.25 million and $6.86 million in exit fees for participating in the new conference, respectively. Both Missouri and Texas A&M University paid $12.4 million to leave the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, these fees were paid in 2010 and 2011—before Big 12 signed a 13-year, $2.6 billion broadcast rights agreement with Fox and ESPN. It’s not clear how much withdrawal fees they will have to pay if Texas and Oklahoma leave the US Securities and Exchange Commission before 2025, but it is almost certain that this will be more expensive than Nebraska and Colorado. , Missouri and Texas A&M University pay high fees for leaving the 12 largest companies.

Longhorns and Sooners may be willing to accept the promise of future revenue from the SEC, but are their member institutions willing to accept them?

Opposition from Texas A&M University in Missouri

If the issue is submitted to the SEC chairman for a vote, Texas A&M and Missouri are likely to strongly consider blocking Texas and Oklahoma from participating in the meeting. Obviously, these two institutions-along with Colorado and Nebraska-have left the 12th University to escape the long shadow of Texas at the conference, partly because of its private network and its Disproportionate power of other institutions.

Bjork has publicly opposed any action taken by the State of Texas against the SEC. The conference charter stipulates that at least 11 of the 14 schools must vote in favor of an invitation to potential new schools.

Although the initial tendency of Bjork and A&M President Michael Young may be to oppose Texas, the promise of increased revenue may create pressure within the meeting to “yes” the vote.

Additional SEC, Big 12 resistance

Not sure how other SEC schools except Missouri and Texas A&M will vote. The addition of the top two 12 projects to conferences that already include Alabama, Louisiana State University, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and Auburn – not to mention Texas A&M University and Missouri – will enable It’s even harder for the team to win the conference championship and get a college degree football playoff spot.

There is also the issue of departmental adjustments, which may upset several teams. Texas and Oklahoma may move to the west of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, forcing Alabama and Auburn to move to the east, to the chagrin of Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. The teams remaining in the West—Arkansas, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State University—may not be satisfied with these new additions.

Bender: Re-adjust the relationship between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Texas and Oklahoma

The SEC can also place these teams in different departments, as it did with Texas A&M and Missouri in 2012, which will theoretically create more balance between departments. Alternatively, the meeting can consider a pod scheduling format, a format that may sacrifice parity or one of the traditional meeting competition. In addition, the team is unlikely to react positively to any additional games-at least in the case of closed doors.

The top 12 teams have also issued a statement on this news, for example from Oklahoma:

In addition to football, the SEC will also consider other sports. Texas and Oklahoma will bring strong events in basketball, softball, baseball, gymnastics, men’s and women’s golf. These will increase the impressive inventory of content already available to ESPN, which may make new copyright transactions more profitable for the network, the SEC and its member institutions. Not to mention the academic value of these universities.

But football is first and foremost in the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and any additional obstacles to the sport that the conference may face—especially the imminent playoff reorganization—may be enough to hinder Texas and Oklahoma. Admission to Massachusetts.

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