OU Officially Applies To Join The SEC Conference
Yesterday, after a weekend of raging rumors, the University of Oklahoma officially announced they were leaving the Big 12 conference and stated they still weren't sure or still considering options of where they will eventually play after their current conference contract expires in 2025. Of course, while it was fun to wildly speculate and fantasize OU joining the Big 10 or the ACC for the sake of getting huge rival games each season, their choice to join the SEC was an obvious given since the media payouts and assumed higher competition would reap higher rewards for the school. Today, a full single day later, OU and UT have officially notified the Southeastern Conference they are seeking "an invitation for membership" as the fifteenth and sixteenth teams respectively, but there's something here I don't think either school has thought about yet...
What if one or both get denied?
I'll be honest with you, both OU and UT have been the powerhouse teams of the Big 12 for a very long time... but so was Nebraska. When Nebraska left seeking more money, they ended up a throwaway team in the Big 10. They were big fish in our small pond, and haven't seen much success since. While it's easy to assume OU and UT are still the mighty teams they once were, it's hard to argue the bowl and big game records over the last twenty years.
OU has a bowl record of 9-11 since winning their last national title. The Longhorns have fared slightly better at 13-4 over that same period of time. Yes, OU had more postseason games overall, but they didn't call him Big Game Bob for nothing, and Lincoln Riley's 1-3 in his four years so far. While I don't think the SEC is the big bad ultimate football conference their marketing team advertises it as, I'm not convinced either team has what it takes to compete week after week within it.
I'm sure both teams will be welcomed by everyone except Alabama and Texas A&M, but the SEC has four years to think about it, putting all of that pressure back on two teams that don't get to prove their worth in our current conference that is super weak, but somehow surviving.
The real question is, after remaining the Big 12 with only ten teams for the last decade, now shrinking to eight, are we to become the Big 8 again? Will the big rivalry become OSU and Texas Tech? Will Tulsa and Houston get an invite to the big table? Will anyone care at that point in time? Only that time will tell.