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Sooners refuse to shoot down SEC interest; Oklahoma State vows 'aggressive' defense

On the heels of reports that it has interest in joining the SEC, Oklahoma issued a statement - that did not refute those reports. Additionally, rival Oklahoma State has gone on the offensive about the potential move.

Oklahoma had a chance to deny any alleged interest in potentially joining the Southeastern Conference.

It did not.

Rival Oklahoma State, meanwhile, fired a proverbial shot across the bow at its rival as it pertained to the report first published Wednesday afternoon by the Houston Chronicle.

That story alleged that both the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma had emissaries who had reached out to SEC officials about potentially jettisoning the Big 12 to mesh with the powerhouse SEC and form what would be the first 16-team Power 5 conference.

“The college athletics landscape is shifting constantly,” OU officials said in a statement. “We don't address every rumor.”

Perhaps not. Sooners officials also likewise very clearly did not shoot down said “rumor.”

The rival Cowboys, whose Stillwater, Oklahoma, campus rests just 80 miles northeast of OU, issued a strong condemnation of the alleged potential movement.

“We have heard unconfirmed reports that OU and UT approached Southeastern Conference officials about joining the SEC,” OSU officials said. “We are gathering information and will monitor closely. If true, we would be gravely disappointed.

“While we place a premium on history, loyalty and trust, be assured, we will aggressively defend and advance what is best for Oklahoma State and our strong athletic program, which continues to excel in the Big 12 and nationally.”

Both OU and Texas would seemingly be locked into their Big 12 memberships through the 2024 football season, per the Big 12 charter. Any attempt by a member institution to depart the league before that time would result in a significant, multi-million dollar buyout.