The bombshell news of college football powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma reportedly wanting to leave the Big 12 conference for the SEC has rendered fans speechless. And even Miami's athletic director was taken aback by the recent report.
"I was surprised, I think like most in the country when you heard the news," Blake James told the Tiki and Tierney show on Friday. "Obviously, Texas and Oklahoma are the two general powers of the Big 12, recognizing there's other schools that have success in the conference, but two of the bigger players in that conference. So, to understand or hear that they're having conversations with the SEC, obviously it's something that caught me by surprise, but I found very interesting...
"It caught everyone by surprise. And so, I've had individual conversations with a number of people in our league. But it's not anything we've come together and said, 'Okay, here's what we're looking at or here's what we're thinking' or anything like that... One of the things that's been great about the ACC is, from our presidents to athletic directors, we've had great alignment and communication with our new commissioner, Jim Phillips. I'm confident that's going to continue, and we'll look at how this plays out..."
The potential conference realignment -- which was first reported by the Houston Chronicle -- would drastically alter the college football landscape, and create a 16-team mega conference. Texas and Oklahoma both joined the Big 12 as inaugural members in 1996, and since then, the storied rivals have won a combined 17 conference titles and 24 bowl games.
While speaking at his first public forum during the ACC Kickoff media days this week, new commissioner Jim Phillips told reporters that he wants Notre Dame to join the conference as a full-time football member. Whether or not this happens, James also supports the Fighting Irish finding a permanent home in the ACC.
"As I said last year, I think it'd be a good fit for us as a conference to have Notre Dame in. I thought last year went over very well," James said. "Does this conversation and speculation that Texas and Oklahoma are going to the SEC change [thought processes]? I don't know that it changes it right now...
"I have full faith in our commissioner and our leadership that we're going to look at what's best for the ACC, and continue to make moves in that direction. In most cases, proactively, but sometimes you have to make moves that are reactive."
The entire college football conversation between James and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.