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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Texas plus Oklahoma equals more $$$

by Wally Hall | July 23, 2021 at 2:31 a.m.

HOOVER, Ala. -- On Monday, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey talked about change and apparently he was warning that there is more on the way.

On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle broke the story that the universities of Texas and Oklahoma are interested in bringing the Red River Showdown to the SEC.

If, or more likely when, that happens the landscape of college football will be forever changed.

There's no way the Big 12 survives, at least not as a Power 5 conference.

There is a place for Baylor and Oklahoma State, maybe even in the SEC or ACC when the dust clears, but change has been coming, and we all should have known it when a 12-team college football playoff was mentioned a few weeks ago.

On the side of the Hyatt Regency here in huge letters are: SEC It Just Means More.

Some have joked it means more covid cases, but apparently it just means more teams.

It will be a process. Nothing is automatic. Since the University of Arkansas is recruiting Oklahoma and Texas, adding schools from those states takes away from the Razorbacks' sales pitch: Come play with the best in the SEC.

It has been written it would take 11 yes votes for the change, and many have examined and debated where those votes might come from and how would the conference be divided.

First, and this is a critical thing to remember, it doesn't matter what the head coaches of any sport want.

The SEC works like this, coaches talk to athletic directors who make recommendations to presidents or chancellors and those are the guys who cast the vote.

Some know little about sports, rivalries and the politics that go with them.

Most are probably scratching their heads and wondering how suddenly it is legal for a freshman athlete to make more than he does.

Those campus leaders may not even realize this would be putting two of the most egotistical, powerful and wealthiest programs in the same footprint.

Texas and Alabama are not used to hearing the word no.

If anyone understands that about the Longhorns it would be the Aggies, who joined the SEC in 2011 for the 2012 season to get out from under the control of big brother Texas.

It was not a coincidence that Aggies Athletic Director Ross Bjork was at media days here Wednesday.

He was the only AD here and was quick to say he was ready to fight for what was best for Texas A&M.

Texas and Oklahoma get bigger pieces of the financial pie than its brothers in the Big 12.

Of course, the Razorbacks are well aware of the Longhorn swagger, too.

The other SEC schools may not have a clue as just how powerful UT can be when it wants to be and that it always wants to be.

As of today, the Sooners' football program would strike more fear in the hearts of teams than the Longhorns, but Texas is not staying down.

Changes like name, image and likeness deals for players benefit the Longhorns, the second richest school in America behind only Harvard.

Much of the Longhorns' wealth comes from oil, lots of oil, cattle, cars, communications and lots of other industries that would be willing to put a 5-star quarterback's face on an oil barrel.

It seems likely the wheels are turning for Texas and Oklahoma to make the jump.

Officials at both schools refused to comment which almost means no denial.

Look for the SEC to become four pods instead of two divisions.

Look for it to mean more money, more exposure and more of everything presidents and chancellors are very interested in.

Print Headline: Texas plus Oklahoma equals more $$$

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