Did Steve Sarkisian know about SEC talks before taking Texas job?
Texas appears to be on the verge of moving from the Big 12 to the SEC, which would be an exciting shift for a program that is hoping for a brighter future under its new head coach. It also raises the question of whether that new head coach knew about the potential conference shakeup before he took the job.
Steve Sarkisian was announced as the head coach of the Longhorns back in January. Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman said on Friday that a Big 12 source told him Texas and Oklahoma have been discussing a move to the SEC for “a minimum of six months.” That would mean the talks began either before or around the same time Texas was working out a deal with Sarkisian.
Sarkisian served as the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban prior to being hired by Texas. He has no experience in the Big 12, but he is certainly familiar with the SEC. He also took several Alabama assistants with him to Texas. We doubt the prospect of the Longhorns joining the SEC would have swayed Sarkisian one way or the other, but the timing is noteworthy.
Texas is one of the most prestigious jobs in the country, with or without the SEC. They have a massive fanbase, winning tradition, and outstanding financial resources. Sarkisian is trying to prove he can win at a high level again after he was fired at USC because of alcohol issues more than five years ago.
Again, Sark probably would have taken the Texas job anyway. But if he did know about the potential conference shakeup, it may have made the position that much more appealing.
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