Sources: SEC covets Texas, OU
The Southeastern Conference, reportedly keen on adding Texas A&M amid the onrush of a Big 12 shakeup, would be just as interested in luring Texas and Oklahoma but doesn't see either as a realistic option, sources with knowledge of the SEC's maneuverings have told ESPN and ESPN.com.
An SEC athletic director told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach that the SEC's first choice would be adding the Longhorns, but might consider taking Texas A&M because it expands the league's footprint into the Dallas and Houston TV markets.
Given the fact that Texas A&M may be the only Big 12 school the SEC could add, the league was prepared to make the move even if Texas and Oklahoma went elsewhere.
"We've got to be diligent in evaluating this," another SEC athletic director told ESPN.com's Schlabach. "We can't just add teams who are going to split the pie without adding anything substantial to the pie."
Adding the Aggies would provide SEC West member Arkansas with a natural rival, which the Razorbacks have lacked since joining the league in 1992 from the Southwest Conference.
Looking beyond the Big 12 for expansion, specifically to the ACC for schools such as Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida State or Miami, was not in the SEC's plans, sources told ESPN.
The sources saw no way the SEC would raid the ACC and added serious doubt that Virginia Tech could be pried away from Virginia.
The idea the SEC would go after Kansas was also dismissed, though a KU source said that would be a preference for the Jayhawks.
Big 12 sources continued to suggest to ESPN on Saturday that the addition of five more Big 12 teams to the Pac-10 is the most likely scenario after Colorado's move. The exodus could begin as early as Tuesday, but nothing has been finalized.
A source with knowledge of Oklahoma's future told ESPN on Saturday the Sooners had not committed to the Pac-10.
However, Oklahoma president David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione had a meeting Saturday with Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott and deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg, the school said in a statement. OU's Board of Regents plans to meet Wednesday afternoon to weigh conference options.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Saturday the Longhorns were still considering "all options."
One plan still on the table was to keep the 10 remaining Big 12 schools together and reposition the conference for the future.
A source familiar with the Sooners said there was compelling information the Big 12 would still be very strong. The Big 12 could remain at 10 or add teams, which the source said would be a choice to be made later and carefully reviewed.
Officials from five schools -- Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor -- had a conference call on Saturday, The Kansas City Star reported. The schools agreed they would like to continue as members of the Big 12.
In a statement, NCAA interim president Jim Isch said the association was not directly involved in the realignment discussions.
"We are closely monitoring the developments and potential impacts," Isch said in the news release. "By doing so we ensure the most appropriate and responsive support to our membership."
Information from ESPN's Joe Schad, ESPN.com's Andy Katz and ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach was used in this report.
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