gy mod Tarpley
1. I've confirmed from people unrelated to A&M or Texas that Texas/OU to the SEC is very real.
2. Multiple Texas-related outlets have confirmed it as well. Remember that when A&M joined the SEC, all of the leaks came from the A&M side. This time, they're starting to come from the Texas side.
3. If you're thinking that the gentlemen's agreement that three other programs would go along with A&M in order to forestall a move by Texas to the SEC...well, we'll see.
The new TV contract between the SEC and ESPN kicks in for the 2024 season and it contains a provision that ESPN will pay more for more teams. Money talked in 2011 and it may well talk loudest this time.
4. Last time (again referencing 2011) A&M was valuable because TV revenues were generated via footprints which allowed TV providers to charge more for subscribers within certain geographic areas. Now, revenues are based on subscribers and increasing numbers of people are paying money directly to ESPN for their products such as Disney+/ESPN+. As part of the new TV agreement for 2024, every school has one game a year on the ESPN+ package which is a good way to get people to pay for that product.
Thus, schools that have followings as opposed to footprints are now valuable. Texas and OU have value.
More money means fewer objections among the SEC membership when it comes time for a vote.
BTW, the grant of rights for the Big 12 ends in 2025. ESPN's contract with the LHN probably isn't an issue since ESPN would be motivated to kill it off. It shouldn't be painful unless Texas wants it to be. They would probably get the same or more amount of money under the SECN going forward that they do the LHN. Unless they got greedy (always a possibility) and wanted to be paid for both the remaining length of the LHN plus SECN monies, the LHN isn't an obstacle.
5. ESPN and Fox decided not to extend their network deals with the BIg 12 earlier this year. It's pushed Texas and OU into looking elsewhere, especially OU which had a deal with FSW (now Bally's) worth a reported $20 million annually but is coming to an end in 2022.
6. Texas has looked down its nose for years at the SEC because of its perceived academic issues but that's because the people who were running things in Austin were more interested in academic rankings than recruiting rankings. The revolt that began with the EOT last summer boosted donors and motivated individuals into key positions who are far more invested in Texas' athletic success.
Their president is a Texas-Ex. The chairman of the BOR is a Texas-Ex.
The governor of the state is a grad of the school attempting to leave the Big 12.
The SEC offers an athletic and financial lifeline and the people that were running the show in Austin a few years ago that wouldn't given the league the time of day have been marginalized.
7. Texas and OU's recruiting has suffered at the hands of A&M being the only SEC school in the state. There's no way around that other than winning a national title or joining the SEC...and joining the SEC may be easier.
Overall, it's not a done deal or close to it but buckle in....
Good news...A&M has Jimbo Fisher and coaches make all of the difference in the world. That advantage isn't going away. Even if Texas and OU join the SEC there may well be an adjustment period.
But A&M now needs to win sooner than later in case something happens with regard to realignment.
October 9 vs Bama may have just gotten a lot bigger