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Texas president says move to Big Ten was explored before joining SEC

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There’s an alternate timeline where Texas might be headed to the Big Ten.

91st Rose Bowl Game: Texas Longhorns v Michigan Wolverines Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Texas and Oklahoma sent shockwaves through the college sports world in late July when the news leaked they were planning a jump to the SEC. Everything moved quickly, the dust settled and within a week, both the Longhorns and Sooners had officially consummated their new conference relationship.

But it was not always the SEC.

Texas president Jay Hartzell said this week that Texas explored other conference options in addition to the SEC with the ACC and Big Ten. There were never any formal talks with either conference, it was something that was being kicked around with Texas’ administration.

Texas and Oklahoma had always been schools that some had speculated would be a fit for the Big Ten in potential realignment. Now, it goes into the books as a “what if” scenario that fans might be discussing for years to come.

The Longhorns and Sooners jumped to a conference that probably makes the most geographical sense to them, but they both would have been great fits in the Big Ten. Their jump to the SEC has left the Big 12 in shambles as the remaining member schools try to figure out what their futures might be.

There have been whispers that schools like Kansas and Iowa State could be in play for the Big Ten, but obviously neither would add the value that Texas and Oklahoma would have. If the Big 12 folds, the remaining programs will need to find somewhere to go, so we are entering fascinating times.

How would you have felt about Texas and Oklahoma being in the Big Ten? Sound off in the comments below.