Before facing the Alabama Crimson Tide as a future conference opponent, both Texas and Oklahoma had to face the music of being near the end of their time with the Big 12 Conference during their media day session during the week of July 10.
Safe to say not everyone is content to see the Longhorns and Sooners leave. But it starts with the conference’s commissioner Tim Weiser who delivered some parting shots to the two future Southeastern Conference programs — starting with UT.
“I continue to maintain the choice Texas made wasn’t a financial one because we all know what the Texas resources are like,” Weiser told the 3MAW Podcast Wednesday. “I think their (decision) was more about affiliating with a group of schools that on a given Saturday. They would rather get beat by Alabama than Kansas State or Florida than Iowa State. That was really driving the way they looked out down the road.”
The podcast hosts slightly cracked a smile at Weiser’s Longhorns rant. Weiser, though, made that statement with a stern voice.
Oklahoma Given Bridal Description
Meanwhile, for a few seconds, Weiser didn’t describe the Red River Rivalry representatives Texas and Oklahoma as rivals. Weiser instead used a bridal description regarding the Sooners in his ripping of OU leaving the Big 12.
“I think they (Oklahoma) were more of what I would call a ‘reluctant bride,'” he said. “That kind of felt like, ‘if we don’t go, what happens to the Texas-OU football or basketball game?’ (Those are) things we know from an OU-Texas standpoint are important.”
Weiser, a former Kansas State athletic director, added: “I kind of felt like if I was in Oklahoma’s (position), it would’ve been hard for me not to think about the long-term.”
Via Weiser’s words, Texas and Oklahoma were secret soulmates who would go wherever one felt was best in the long haul.
Originally, Texas and Oklahoma weren’t set on joining the SEC until 2025. However, both programs reached an early agreement with the Big 12 that now can allow them to become full-fledged SEC members effective July 1, 2024.
Texas and Oklahoma, for one last season, will take part in a newly revamped Big 12 that is now welcoming the following teams: Houston, Brigham Young, Cincinnati and Central Florida — giving the conference a league-record 14 teams for this fall after operating with 10 for nearly a decade.
Former Alabama Assistant Sounds Off on Possibility of Upsetting Alabama
Meanwhile, outside of the Big 12 commissioner sending a blunt farewell to Texas, the Longhorns’ head coach Steve Sarkisian also addressed a pivotal game on the ‘Horns schedule: September 9 down in Tuscaloosa.
Sarkisian will return to Bryant Denny Stadium for the first time since 2020 when he was with Nick Saban and the Tide as offensive coordinator. “Sark” got asked what it would take to knock off his former employer.
“We have to embrace the moment and understand what that moment is,” Sarkisian said during the media days. “And we gotta play good football. Thought we played them well a year ago, we didn’t play well enough. And so the key to the drill, when we go there we have to play better than we did last time, and I think we can.”
He says a big key to top Alabama, though, has to deal with the mental side.
“I think we’ll have the mental fortitude to go do it,” he said. “The mental toughness to go do it and the physical toughness to go do it because this is going to be a physical football game. They’re a big, physical football team that will be very well coached and we just have to make sure that they get our best shot.”
Texas owns the series lead 7-2-1 overall against ‘Bama. However, the Tide have won the last two meetings against the Longhorns.