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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Articles tagged: Texas Longhorns Football

Video: Texas senator zings Longhorns over move to SEC

Lois Kolkhorst

A Texas state senator zinged the Longhorns over their planned move to the SEC.

Senator Lois Kolkhorst was grilling University of Texas at Austin president Jay Hartzell as part of a senate select committee on the future of college sports in Texas. She asked Hartzell how big his school’s athletic budget was.

Then Kolkhorst zinged Hartzell by saying the Texas athletic budget was over $200 million despite the football team losing. She noted they were 3-7 against her alma mater TCU (since 1995).

Kolkhorst twisted in the knife by saying maybe Texas’ fan base “would rather lose to Alabama than TCU.”

Texas has been taking shots from all comers over their planned move. That’s not deterring them.

Texas and Oklahoma seem to be casting tradition, rivalries and the overall health of college football aside in order to chase a big payoff from the SEC. Fans of the two schools will likely need to get used to more losing when they’re facing much tougher competition across multiple sports.

Texas’ Longhorn Network expected to be sunset as part of SEC deal

Texas Longhorns logo

The Big 12 will suffer a major casualty when Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC, and they will also be losing a television network in the process.

The Longhorn Network was launched in 2011 to focus on, naturally, Texas athletics. Texas president Jay Hartzell essentially admitted on Monday that there will be no use for the network after the school moves from the Big 12 to the SEC.

Why? The biggest reason is the SEC already has its own network. Like the Longhorn Network, the SEC Network is affiliated with ESPN. Keeping both simply wouldn’t make sense.

Texas and Oklahoma may not move to the SEC until 2025, which is when their current media rights deal with the Big 12 expires. The Big 12 is going to be in rough shape when the realignment does happen, and it may open the door for other major changes in college athletics.

Baylor AD hilariously shades Texas over move to SEC

Baylor

Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades is trying to put a brave face on as the Big 12 ponders its future. He did so by taking a pretty funny shot at Texas.

Rhoades commented on Texas’ impending move to the SEC on Monday. He acknowledged the national narrative was that it was the Longhorns’ arrogance that drove them to make the conference switch, but disputed it. In his mind, this just shows that Texas needs a bit more confidence in itself.

Well, that’s one way to look at it. It’s certainly true that Texas had a hard road to the College Football Playoff from the Big 12, but that had as much to do with their general lack of success as anything else.

The better reaction is probably this one from Steve Spurrier, which is definitely more aligned with the notion that the Longhorns are a little too high on themselves. Rhoades can think what he wants, but the fact that the Big 12’s survival is a fair question after Texas and Oklahoma leave suggests that he’s not quite correct here.

Steve Spurrier takes shot at Texas over move to SEC

Steve Spurrier

It has now been five years since Steve Spurrier last coached college football, but the Hall of Famer has not lost his knack for talking trash. He reminded us of that when he shared his thoughts on Texas and Oklahoma potentially joining the SEC.

Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel asked Spurrier about Texas and Oklahoma applying for SEC membership, and the 76-year-old seized the opportunity to take a shot at the Longhorns.

“I can understand Texas jumping over,” Spurrier said. “They get to play Texas A&M again. They get to … they can’t win the Big 12 anyway. I think they’ve only won two in the last 30 years or so. What is it?”

Spurrier was close. Texas has won the Big 12 just three times since 1996. They have not captured a Big 12 title since 2009, when Mack Brown was the coach. The Longhorns have won more than eight games in a season just once since Brown left in 2013, though they have won four straight bowl games. Texas hired Steve Sarkisian this offseason as its third coach in the last seven years.

Spurrier coached in the SEC at Florida and South Carolina. He won a championship with the Gators in 1996. He knows how tough the conference is, and he’s right that Texas could struggle mightily at first. He also doesn’t understand why Oklahoma would want to join the SEC aside from money.

“I just don’t think they’re going to come over to the SEC and win with any regularity the way that they win the Big 12,” Spurrier said of the Sooners. “Their fans might say, ‘Yeah, now we can beat Alabama and LSU and all these dudes.’ It may not happen like that.”

If you remember the comment he made during college football season last year, you know that Spurrier always keeps his finger on the pulse of the sport. He’s not the only one who is skeptical of Texas and Oklahoma trying to take on the SEC.

Texas fans! Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach of the Longhorns and promising a high-octane offense. Show some support for the squad with this great All Gas No Brakes shirt. It makes a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. You can buy it here:

Texas, Oklahoma essentially confirm Big 12 departure in joint statement

Texas Longhorns logo

It has been widely reported that Texas and Oklahoma are planning to leave the Big 12 to join the SEC, and the two schools have now all but confirmed that publicly.

On Monday, Texas and Oklahoma issued a joint statement announcing they have notified the Big 12 that they will not extend their grant of media rights beyond 2025, which is when the current deal expires. While the statement did not explicitly say the two schools will leave the conference, the message is clear.

That may sound like it places an official date on when Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12. However, USA Today’s Dan Wolken notes that the schools have a legal obligation to honor the grant of rights through 2025, but they could explore ways to leave the Big 12 sooner.

The Big 12 will have little relevance nationally when Texas and Oklahoma leave. That is why the conference is reportedly considering merging with another Power Five conference. Either way, a major shakeup is coming in college athletics.

Did Steve Sarkisian know about SEC talks before taking Texas job?

Steve Sarkisian

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.

Texas fans! Steve Sarkisian is the new head coach of the Longhorns and promising a high-octane offense. Show some support for the squad with this great All Gas No Brakes shirt. It makes a perfect gift for yourself or a friend. You can buy it here:

Report: Texas, Oklahoma moving to SEC nearly a done deal

Texas Longhorns logo

The strongest athletic conference in college sports appears to be on the verge of getting even stronger, as momentum continues to build toward Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman reported on Friday that Texas and Oklahoma moving from the Big 12 to the SEC is “almost done.” An announcement could be made as early as next week. Bohls also noted that talks about the move began roughly six months ago, and Texas A&M has not been a part of them.

It was first reported on Wednesday that Texas and Oklahoma were looking to join the SEC. One theory is that Texas A&M officials may have leaked the story hoping that political forces and fans would push back against the conference shakeup and potentially scuttle it.

As of now, Texas A&M is the only school from Texas in the SEC. That gives the Aggies a major advantage with recruiting. Adding the Longhorns to the conference has the potential to set Texas A&M back significantly.

It sounds like Texas A&M is going to have to deal with it. While having Texas in the same conference could be an obstacle for the Aggies, we know who the biggest losers will be if and when the shakeup becomes official.

Texas, Oklahoma leaving for SEC would leave Big 12 mostly irrelevant

Big 12 conference

The SEC has already pulled ahead of the pack when it comes to athletic dominance in many prominent college sports. They generally have the best teams, most resources, and best fan support in football, baseball and softball, among other sports. Other conferences have competitive programs of course, and none of this means every school in the SEC is better than all schools elsewhere. But on the whole, the SEC is the big leagues compared to other conferences.

Two of the programs that could match up with the SEC in terms of competitiveness across sports, resources, and fan support, are Texas and Oklahoma. Those schools appear poised to leave the Big 12 for the SEC.

Not only would that further cement the SEC as the most prominent conference in major college athletics, but it would completely weaken the Big 12, making that conference nearly irrelevant.

Texas and Oklahoma are the power schools in the Big 12, especially in football. The conference already was down to 10 teams after four left last decade. They will be down to eight schools if Texas and Oklahoma leave:

– Baylor
– Iowa State
– Kansas
– Kansas State
– Oklahoma State
– TCU
– Texas Tech
– West Virginia

TCU and West Virginia were recent additions to the conference after Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left. They might be able to easily leave given their lack of long ties to the conference. The more likely scenario would be the Big 12 hunting for other schools to fill the spots. Houston and SMU might be natural additions.

Oklahoma State and TCU have had good football programs for quite some time. Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia have also had their moments in recent history. The conference would still have some decent football, but without Oklahoma and Texas, they would completely lack a national respect. They would be regarded as a second-tier conference that wouldn’t factor into the championship picture in college football.

Did Texas A&M plant story about Texas, Oklahoma going to SEC?

Texas AM logo

A major conference shakeup could be coming in college sports, but Texas A&M may be trying to stand in the way of it happening.

The Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman reported on Wednesday that Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about joining their conference. Zwerneman went as far as to say an announcement about the two schools moving to the SEC could come within the next few weeks. Now, some are wondering if Texas A&M may have planted the story.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports laid out some of the reasons Texas A&M would be motivated to pull back the curtain on talks of Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC. At the moment, Texas A&M is the only team from Texas in the country’s strongest football conference. They probably don’t want the Longhorns joining them. The logic is that Texas A&M may have leaked the story so that political forces and fans could push back against the conference shakeup and potentially scuttle it.

As Thamel notes, Texas A&M athletic director Ross Bjork was one of the few SEC ADs who attended SEC Media Days this week. Thamel wonders if that was a “convenient way to shine a spotlight on Texas’ reported conversations.”

Texas A&M currently has a monopoly on recruits who want to play football in both Texas and the SEC. That would change if the University of Texas joins the conference.

This is not the first time there has been talk of Texas and/or Oklahoma changing conferences. If the SEC added Texas and Oklahoma, they would go from 14 schools to 16 and would add to the strongest athletic conference in the country. That would, in theory, make it even tougher for Texas A&M to break through and contend. You can certainly see why the Aggies would be opposed to the idea.

Report: Texas, Oklahoma could join SEC

Texas Longhorns logo

Are college sports in for another major conference shakeup?

The Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman reported on Wednesday that Texas and Oklahoma have reached out to the SEC about joining their conference.

Zwerneman says that an announcement could come within the next few weeks about the power schools joining the powerful conference.

There has been talk for years about Texas and/or Oklahoma potentially joining other conferences. In 2010, both schools considered joining the Pac-12. It was at that time that Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten. Missouri and Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC, while Colorado left the conference for the Pac-12.

Texas has remained with the Big 12, while creating the Longhorn Network TV channel. The Big 12 ended up adding TCU and West Virginia and dropping from 12 to 10 teams.

If the SEC added Texas and Oklahoma, they would go from 14 schools to 16, and would add to the strongest athletic conference in the country. The Longhorn Network might be in jeopardy if Texas joined the SEC, which already has the SEC Network. It’s also unclear whether the current members of the SEC would approve the additions.