College sports are the real backbone of the sporting scene in America. Without the flourishing college sides, there would be no conveyor belt of fresh talent for pro sides, and campus life would also be a lot duller. That is undoubtedly true of college football, a major sport in the NCAA’s arsenal. But what makes college ball so awesome to follow?
Most of the attraction centers on the hard-hitting action it delivers and the drama each game usually contains. College football is also fun to watch live and gives people on campus a way to get together. It also allows them to tap into the college’s culture and find common ground with others.
Some people also like following college football for the sports betting opportunities it offers. This can be a great way to get closer to the game and also make a little money. For students in New Jersey, finding the best Michigan online sports betting sites is a great way to bet on college football. The same is true for those in other parts of the USA. If you need a hand on finding the best sportsbooks to use, Odds Seeker is a great online resource to check out. It brings together the best sites for betting on college ball in one handy place.
The final thing which makes college football so appealing to people is the gossip, stories, and fall-outs it brings. There is usually some huge breaking news to grab your attention. This was certainly the case when the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns recently announced plans to quit the Big 12 conference for the SEC.
But what is this all about, and how might it affect the future of college football?
Oklahoma and Texas leave the Big 12 – what is the story?
There is no doubt that the college football teams from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin are two of the most iconic. The Sooners from Oklahoma, for example, have won seven National Championships and 41 Conference Championships. They have been around for a long time and can trace their history back to 1895. They also have famous alumni like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray in their ranks.
The Texas Longhorns are also a top college football side. They have four National Championships to their name and 32 Conference Championships. Texas has also produced two Heisman Trophy winners to date in Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. This made their recent decision to leave for the SEC a major story. But what exactly happened?
While rumors had been circulating for a while about both sides defecting, late June 2021 saw it confirmed. Firstly, both sides told the Big 12 that they would not extend their TV rights permission beyond 2025. Next, they both submitted formal requests to join the SEC, and they were accepted. This now leaves the teams edging towards joining the SEC in 2025 – but many fans believe it will all happen a lot faster.
But what was behind this move for both sides?
Why have the Sooners and Longhorns left the Big 12?
For most fans of college sports, it seems to be all about the money. There is no doubt that both sides should receive more money per annum as SEC members, mainly due to the better TV rights deal the conference has struck with ESPN as of 2024. Of course, many college football fans will question whether they really need more money! The Longhorns, for example, are known as the wealthiest side in college ball, with a $200m per year revenue figure!
If money is not the only driving force behind this decision, what else might be at play? A significant factor is that the SEC is seen as a stronger, better, and more appealing conference to play in. It should see both the Sooners and Longhorns compete against a better caliber of opposition and test their mettle against better players. This should also provide more interesting matches for followers of both teams. Being members of a more competitive conference should also see both sides have access to a better caliber of fresh talent in terms of recruitment.
Drastically changing times for college ball
There is no doubt that Texas and Oklahoma’s Big 12 defection will drastically change the college football landscape. This might be in both a positive and negative way. On the positive side, it should make the Big 12 more competitive and stop both teams from dominating it each year.
The potential for how this decision could change college ball for the worse cannot be ignored. Firstly, it brings a real sense of instability to the Big 12 conference and the whole of college football. Already there is talk of more Big 12 teams defecting toother conferences. If this happens, not only could the Big 12’s future be in doubt, but the changes in other conferences could be immense.
Changing times for Big 12 sides and national status
There is also the direct impact this move has on the eight teams left in the Big 12. Although the Big 12 TV deal currently sees $40m per year going to sides, it is thought that future deals could drop to as low as $15m due to the Sooners and Longhorns leaving. If the Big 12 cannot find new sides to replace them that people want to watch, then this could spell a financial meltdown for some teams.
Another change the SEC move from both sides could see is college ball becoming a less national game. By concentrating the best sides and best talents in the South, college ball might become more regionalized as a result. This might see interest in it wane in certain parts of the USA, and college ball could suffer overall.
Texas and Oklahoma leaving Big 12 is big news
When you have two iconic teams like Texas and Oklahoma leaving a conference, it will always be huge news. Their recent decision to head to the SEC feels more seismic than that, though. It has really shaken up college football as a whole, and many are wondering just how drastically it could change.