The commissioner of the Big 12 conference is having some fun at the expense of the Texas Longhorns as they prepare for their final season in the Big 12.
Texas is looking to win its first conference championship since 2009 before heading to the SEC.
Don’t count Brett Yormark as one who’s rooting for the Longhorns to win on the way out the door.
Speaking Wednesday at the Red Raider Club kickoff luncheon in Lubbock, Texas, Yormark had a message for Texas Tech head football coach Joey McGuire.
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“Coach [McGuire], I’m not going to put any pressure on you, but I’m gonna be in Austin for Thanksgiving. And you’d better take care of business like you did right here in Lubbock last year,” Yormark said.
The Nov. 24 game in Austin will be the last regular season Big 12 game for Texas.
The conference announced early in the year an agreement had been reached to allow the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to leave the conference for the SEC following the conclusion of the 2023-24 athletic year.
The move by the Longhorns and the Sooners, originally announced in July 2021, was just the beginning of a seismic shift in college athletics.
Realignment has become the main topic of conversations as schools make moves to different conferences in order to navigate the shifting media market.
The Big 12 has been at the center of conference realignment, adding four schools in the last month.
Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah will all join the Big 12 starting in 2024, making a 16-team conference.
The moves have decimated the Pac-12, which now has just four teams committed beyond the 2023-24 seasons, as UCLA, USC, Oregon and Washington prepare to enter the Big Ten after the year.
Yormark revealed a conversation with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff after adding the four schools, saying he never hid his desire to expand the Big 12 conference.
“On the heels of not Colorado, but all four corner schools coming, I texted George. Reached out to him. Obviously, he was busy. He and I spoke last week. And effectively I said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry it came down to this, and I’m sorry I put you in a tough position, but this was something that we had to do. This was something that the board and our key stakeholders encouraged. And I’m sorry that my gain is your loss.’ And we had a very collegial conversation. George was fantastic,” Yormark said on “The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast.”
“I am not one to hide. And again, I’ve been very intentional about expansion,” he continued. “And I did that in an effort to make sure that expansion didn’t happen in someone’s shadow, it didn’t happen at night, it wasn’t a shock and awe moment. Everyone knew the Big 12 had an appetite to expand. And maybe some people in the industry didn’t like that, that I was so intentional about it. But I’m very transparent. In fact, I telegraphed it.”
The Big 12 will compete as a 14-team conference for the 2023-24 season.