Texas Football News Disrupts A&M's Day For Second Time This Year, Reviving the Rivalry

Big 12 football news surfaced at the SEC Media Days on Wednesday, and it's of possible expansion of Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC to form a 16-team mega conference.

This came on the day that Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher spoke on behalf of the Aggies at the media day in Birmingham, Alabama.

Texas A&M was a member of the Big 12 along with Oklahoma and Texas from 1996-2012, when the Aggies moved to the SEC with Missouri, who was also a former Big 12 school. Texas and Texas A&M have not played since the end of the 2011 regular season, won by the Longhorns, 27-25, on a last-second field goal by Justin Tucker.

Texas vs Texas A&M Football
Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies attempts to catch a pass against Carrington Byndom #23 of the Texas Longhorns in the first half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. The pass was incomplete. This was the last time the two teams played. Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images

The news of Texas possibly inquiring about joining the SEC wasn't the only time the Longhorns have disrupted a day of Texas A&M football this year.

On January 2, Texas announced it had hired [now former] Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as its new head coach. That same day, the Texas A&M Aggies played the Orange Bowl against North Carolina, which is coached by Mack Brown, the former coach at Texas.

Needless to say, Texas got a 2-for-1 that day.

News first broke in Birmingham on Wednesday by the Houston Chronicle. The news was from an inside, anonymous source. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey downplayed the news, calling it speculation from "unnamed people."

"I'm not going to comment on speculation," Sankey said.

In that same Chronicle report, a Texas spokesperson said, "Speculation always swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation."

Meanwhile, officials at Texas A&M and Oklahoma State University have responded, saying they want to protect their own programs. For Texas A&M, it could be maintaining its status as the only SEC school in the fertile recruiting ground of the Lone Star State.

"We want to be the only SEC program in the state of Texas," said A&M athletic director Ross Bjork. "There's a reason why Texas A&M left the Big 12 — to be stand-alone, to have our own identity."

For Oklahoma State, it's about keeping the two state schools together and ensure the annual Bedlam series stays intact. The school issued a statement Wednesday afternoon about the rumors.

"We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC, the statement read. "We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed. While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 and nationally."

Oklahoma State with an assertive statement. pic.twitter.com/BybBf6nCFZ

— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) July 21, 2021

The SEC is the premier conference in college football, winning 12 national titles this century. To put it into context, the last time Oklahoma won a national championship was in 2000, and Texas last won it in 2005. Since the Longhorns' title, the SEC won seven straight national titles and 11 of the last 15, including the last two (LSU 2019, Alabama 2020).