AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ten years after the Big 12 nearly fell apart and the landscape of college athletics completely changed, history appears to be repeating itself.
At least we had a decade of relative stability.
On Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle reported that both Texas and Oklahoma have been in contact with the SEC about joining the league, with the paper going so far as to say an announcement on the move could happen within the next couple weeks.
While both the Longhorns and Sooners have been in the Big 12 since its inception, their flirtations with the then-Pac 10 in 2010 sparked the most recent wave of conference realignment with Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas A&M all eventually leaving the league for what they perceived as greener pastures.
So with another round of conference roulette seemingly upon us, let’s take a look back at the timeline of the last round.
Reports first came out in June that the Pac-10 was looking to become the first so-called “super conference” by adding six schools from the Big 12, including both Texas and Oklahoma.
In the end, only Colorado moved west. The Buffaloes announced their move to the Pac-10 on June 10, 2010, and it took effect on July 1, 2011. They, along with Utah out of the Mountain West, helped bring the conference to its current makeup of 12 teams.
The very next day, Nebraska announced its move to the Big Ten, which would also become official on July 1 of 2011. Maryland and Rutgers also joined the league in 2014 to bring that conference to its current 14-team formation.
After all the turbulence, though, the Big 12 survived the Pac-12’s incursion, though in a new-look 10-team format, thanks in part to Texas deciding to stay put after it was allowed to start the Longhorn Network.
But it was that exact move that ultimately spurned Texas A&M and left it wanting out of the league.
With LHN set to launch in August, Texas A&M became more vocal about its concerns the network would have on recruiting, especially if it would be allowed to broadcast high school football games of potential Texas targets.
On Aug. 31, the Aggies officially announced they would be leaving the Big 12 on June 30, 2012.
While A&M’s move to the SEC wasn’t official yet, it was a foregone conclusion. And with its departure from the Big 12 and Missouri also exploring a move east, the league was scrambling to stay at 10 schools.
Texas A&M and the SEC announced their official partnership on Sept. 25, with the move taking effect on July 1, 2012.
The next month, TCU and West Virginia were both invited to join the Big 12. On Oct. 10, TCU accepted its invitation, while WVU officially joined the league on Oct. 28.
In between those two announcements, it became obvious that Missouri would be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. That move became official on Nov. 6.
All these moves officially happened on July 1. On that day, Texas A&M and Missouri became official members of the SEC, while West Virginia and TCU joined the Big12.
Since then, the Big 12 has been holding steady at 10 members and the SEC at 14.
But Wednesday’s news could upend all of that and cause even more chaos in the world of college athletics.