Report: ACC contacted Oklahoma, Texas as reports of their Big 12 departure grow
|Friday, July 23, 2021, 10:02 AM- -|
Oklahoma and Texas are far from the Atlantic Coast, but that apparently didn't stop their prominent athletic programs from getting a look from the ACC.
The conference realignment silly season is back after a several-year pause with reports of a move to the SEC from Oklahoma and Texas. Apparently their issues with the Big 12 and rejoining an extended grant of rights agreement reached the ACC under the new leadership of Jim Phillips -- and Yahoo reports that the ACC reached out through "back channels" to the schools.
Depite that reported attempt, Yahoo's Pete Thamel says that Oklahoma and Texas "are expected to start the process of joining the SEC next week" and there is "strong confidence" they have the votes within the SEC to be welcomed in.
That would mark the first 16-team FBS conference and possibly start another conference realignment arms race, which marked the early part of the previous two decades.
In terms of the ACC, Notre Dame joining as a full football member would be the logical big addition for the conference, as the Fighting Irish contractually have to join the ACC if they were to become a full member of a conference. Notre Dame got a taste of football conference action last year en route to a Playoff appearance during the pandemic-affected campaign.
ESPN reported this week that the ACC is pursuing petitioning the NCAA to have the option to do away with divisions required for a conference championship.
"That's something that we're going to want to do," Phillips told ESPN on Thursday. "To test the waters to see if we can go with no divisions like we did last year. We saw what that could look like.
"I don't think you can be married to everything that you've done. Then you get just so cemented in what's been done in the past or, or what you think is best for you. I think it's going to take a lot of a lot of flexibility across all of our schools to understand what that new model looks like for ACC football."
Sources: The ACC and other leagues have made inquiries — through back channels — to Oklahoma and Texas. The schools are still expected to start the process of joining the SEC next week. The Texas and OU backchannel communication to the SEC has been going on for more than a year.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) July 23, 2021