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The American Super League Drama, Part 3: Nothing was the same

This article is the third part of a series. To read part 2, click here.

The news of Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC shocked the world. For much of the public, it seemed to have come out of nowhere. And if the news was not shocking enough in and of itself, the speed at which everything went down certainly was. Here is a recap of the series of events that led to the new American Super League:

21 July:
The Houston Chronicle publishes a story breaking the news that Texas and Oklahoma are trying to join the SEC. Officials from both universities either denied the story as rumours or made themselves unavailable for comment.

22 July:
Texas and Oklahoma notably miss a planned Big 12 Conference call; SEC Presidents meet to (purportedly) discuss Texas and Oklahoma.

23 July:
News sources confirm that Texas and OU are leaving the Big 12 and will not be extending their existing media rights beyond 2025.

25 July:
Presidents of Texas and Oklahoma meet with the Big 12’s Executive Committee and Commissioner.

26 July:
Texas and Oklahoma release a joint statement about leaving the Big 12 and send formal notification that they will not renew their media contracts.

27 July:
Texas and Oklahoma officially apply to become members of the SEC.

29 July:
Despite vocal opposition from Texas A&M (an existing SEC member), the SEC votes unanimously to invite Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC.

30 July:
Regents from both Texas and Oklahoma vote unanimously to formally accept the invitation to join the SEC

By the time we started drafting the first part of this article (published on 29 July), things were moving so fast that it became clear that no matter what we published, we would not have the latest news about the move. Texas, Oklahoma, and their SEC counterparts are large institutions worth billions of dollars; they are not known for moving quickly. The story of how this deal went down will come out one day, but one thing is for certain: the move has been in the works for an awfully long time.

Collateral Damage

There was so much drama about the European football Super League because people worried about what would happen to the existing conferences. The Super League would irreparably damage the value of existing leagues and championships. They were right: had the Super League gone through as envisioned and planned, it would have made the rich significantly richer, all while harming essentially everybody else in the professional football sphere.

For American college football, there is no question that the rest of the existing college football conferences are at a crossroads. They are facing existential questions. Do they need to expand in order to stay relevant? Can they ensure that their top teams won’t jump ship to the SEC in the near future? Rather than taking a “wait and see” approach, there have been countless anxious, rushed meetings across the country about what to do next. What we do know is that a seismic shift has occurred in American football, and the sport will never be the same because of it.

Prev part:

The American Super League Drama, Part 2: Show me the money!