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UT, OU fans react to looming conference shakeup

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 8:22 AM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - If you’re a college sports fan, then you’ve probably heard the news: Texas and Oklahoma are likely leaving the Big 12 and may be headed to the SEC.

“Oh my goodness, that’s crazy!” said one Texas Longhorn fan.

“I just think it’s funny that Longhorns are gonna follow us,” said an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Monday, two of the Big 12′s premier institutions Texas and OU announced that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights after they expire in 2025.

The “grant of rights” gives the conference control of the school’s media rights and runs concurrent with the Big 12′s television contracts with ESPN and Fox, signaling the likely end for the two powerhouse programs as members of the Big 12.

For Texoma, the news hits home.

“When we have family gatherings, it’s always bickering back and forth,” said Natalie Murphy, a Texas Longhorns fan.

“It is! We get a lot of people come in for the Texas-OU rivalry at 10:30 a.m. on the dot before the game starts,” said Desmond Baker, a cook at North Rig Grill in Denison.

UT and OU have been in discussions with the Southeastern Conference about joining the league, though neither school nor the conference has acknowledged that publicly.

Fans say joining the S-E-C with the likes of Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida just to name a few, is intriguing.

“That’s huge for them, to be honest with you, it’s a huge step for the long horns,” said Kylie Shilling, a UT Longhorns fan.

“I’m all for it,” said Ben Wade, an OU Sooners fan. “I want to see OU play some big teams instead of Kansas state and Baylor, I’m looking forward to going on some road trips.”

But for the Big 12, this could mean the end of an era.

“It’s ‘gonna dissolve the big 12 for sure. I don’t think they could make it anywhere on the big 12, the SEC they’ve got more components to play,” said Sooners fan Brad Burt.

For college football fans, it’s game on.

“Texas and OU better watch out for Nick Saban- that’s all I got to say! He’s a bad man so watch out,” Baker said.

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