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How Oklahoma-Texas move to the SEC came together

In the summer of 2021, Red River Rivals Oklahoma and Texas made a landscape-shaping announcement. The Sooners and the Longhorns would be moving to the SEC. Nearly three years later, that move is just over a month away from being official. But with Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte in Destin, Florida this week for SEC meetings, it feels like the move has already happened.

The league has already shared the new logo featuring OU and Texas.

During their time in Destin, Castiglione and Del Conte sat down with Paul Finebaum of ESPN and discussed the move. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic when the two athletic directors really began to rethink their institutions’ standing.

Reflecting on the state of college football, including name, image, and likeness, attendance, the Alston vs. NCAA case, two of the most powerful administrators in college football came to the conclusion that it was time to make the move.

“We had great respect for the Big 12,” Castiglione told Finebaum. “We also had to see where the world was going and what was best for our two universities. So there was no animosity, but you still have to lead. This was something, between us and our presidents, that we had to do for the best interest of our universities in the long run.”

There’s no doubt that the sport has changed dramatically since 2020. From the introduction of name, image, and likeness, the transfer portal, and the escalating television contracts, it was wise for Castiglione and Del Conte to be proactive.

Oklahoma and Texas have more in common with the SEC. From stadium capacity to branding and historical success, it was a move that made a ton of sense from a variety of angles. And it’s a move that’s been well received by the SEC’s other 14 programs.

“It wasn’t initially,” Castiglione told Finebaum. “But as we have made this move and the support we’ve had from (commissioner Greg Sankey), the entire staff, to the member institutions, my AD colleagues, the presidents, other coaches now, it really does seem like a natural fit. We have so much in common with virtually all of the institutions, many of which are flagship universities in their own state like we are.”

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire