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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the report that Texas and Oklahoma may have reached out to the SEC about possibly leaving the Big 12 to join another conference.
DAN WETZEL: So, should Oklahoma and Texas go to the SEC? Should they leave the Big 12? We are gonna try to funnel this down. Should they try to leave, or go independent, or go the SEC or pat 12, should they? Pete.
PETE THAMEL: Let's go through their options I guess. Should they go independent? Texas can. Oklahoma can't. And Oklahoma is one of the last six big 12 titles. This is [INAUDIBLE]. Oklahoma is a better historical program than Texas, and I don't think it's close, if you really boil it down. OK?
DAN WETZEL: It's not-- it's not.
PETE THAMEL: The biggest cities in Oklahoma are, Oklahoma City Tulsa, Norman and Broken Arrow. OK? The biggest cities in Texas are, Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. And I'm probably missing like another giant city.
DAN WETZEL: Fort Worth, El Paso, I mean, yeah--
DAN WETZEL: --bigger than anything, yeah.
PETE THAMEL: You just go on and on and on.
PETE THAMEL: So should they go-- probably, right? Cause look what's-- look what they're propping up right now. All right? Look what they're propping up. The-- what's the biggest market in the Big 12, after Oklahoma and Texas?
DAN WETZEL: Kansas City?
PETE THAMEL: Yes, it is Kansas City. It is Kansas City.
PETE THAMEL: Assuming you-- you count Kansas as having a football program.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah. I mean that's a sport town now too. That's-- Kansas City, Missouri.
PETE THAMEL: Yes.
PETE THAMEL: Exactly. So, there just is-- there is a stat at one point in the Big 12, and it's changed a few times, that Lubbock was the second biggest city in the league.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah.
PETE THAMEL: Now it's not cause of Fort Worth, that was before-- that was before they came in. So, there-- there isn't much there there [INAUDIBLE]. So, this is like, you make the decisions in realignment for 50 years, not 15 years.
And I just think, you'd wanna get in the safest port, and I think, that's what Oklahoma and Texas are doing at the very least, they're exploring the safest and most lucrative port.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. They're exploring their options and I guess-- yes, we've kinda delineated the options. They could go to any of the Power Five conferences, like anybody would take them. Right?
They could go independent, and I've had a prominent person in college athletics insisting for more than a decade that, they should go independent, that they could do it.
You know they have the football cloud, and they are so good at everything else, that people will take them, take their other sports that could be like Notre Dame, just a secular Notre Dame, and make that work.
You know, I think they seriously explore that option. I think if you can come to a point and think that you can make that work, I would do that. Absent of that, I think the SEC is the best move.
You are it now, you look, you are stepping into a very, very difficult competitive situation, from a football standpoint. But by God, you're Texas and Oklahoma, and you feel like you should be able to compete with those teams. The Pac 12 is shaky, it's also further away.
The SEC would be a good option, and you could compete better in football there, but it's further away. So that-- those are your options. The Big Ten, I don't think is a viable option. I just don't. I think that first of all, we know this, leadership of that conference is shaky.
So, you know, where are they going in terms of-- that conference, probably is going nowhere, but you are going into such a different region. You're probably inviting in Ohio State and other people more into recruit Texas than they already are.
If you go into-- into a league with them, you've gotta go back and make nice with Nebraska who you hate. I think the SEC if you can-- if yo can do it over Texas A&M's, not dead but very wriggling body, then you do it.
PETE THAMEL: Texas A&M is like the-- like the guy who reserves the parking space for his buddy by lying down in it.
PAT FORDE: Right. Back over that sucker.
PETE THAMEL: This is like a not so peaceful protest.
PETE THAMEL: The petty is so great.
DAN WETZEL: Fantastic. All right. I don't know. couple of things on this, and this is where the playoff, and whether this plan goes through, is a big deal. Texas's path to the playoffs, and to win a national championship, is easier in the Big 12.
And I've said for a long time, that the Big 12 should have been a 4Runner, on trying to get-- the last time we had a realignment, to get a big playoff and an automatic bid, because now you offer a carrot to Texas and Oklahoma who could always leave.
That, you've got a playoff path, and all you really got to do is beat the other one most years, and you're in the playoffs. And even if you don't, and you only lose one game, you're probably in the playoff now.
And I think that means more to Texas than money. When have we ever looked at Texas and said they don't have enough money? Or they can't raise the money? they can close any gap, particularly if they're in the playoffs.
So I would be very, very careful about jumping into a 16 team SEC, which is literally just like-- this is a battle royale now. This is a knife fight, you no longer have the advantages over everyone.
And even though Oklahoma has a better program than you historically and now, you still have an advantage over them. I mean Texas has the most advantages of any school in the country probably, if not, it's in the top two or three. So I would be very careful about leaving the Big 12, for that.