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Paul Finebaum describes the surreal, emotional feeling as Texas, Oklahoma were welcomed to SEC

Matt Connollyby:Matt Connolly07/08/24


IT JUST MEANS MORE for Oklahoma and Texas | The SEC Officially Welcomes Sooners and Longhorns

News broke in July of 2021 that Texas and Oklahoma were joining the SEC. Nearly three years later the former Big 12 powers officially joined the league last weekend.

SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum was in Austin and then Norman to celebrate the two schools coming on board.

Finebaum joined McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on Monday and described what it was like seeing Texas and Oklahoma officially join the SEC.

“In many ways it was surreal,” Finebaum said. “We’ve been talking about it for three years and counting down every day on the network. But still, it was almost hard to believe Sunday night, standing up looking down over, I don’t know, 40-50,000 people mulling around, that this moment in time had finally arrived,” Finebaum said.

“I detected incredible enthusiasm, exuberance, excitement from both Texas people on Saturday, and then we quickly moved over to Norman afterwards.”

Paul Finebaum has been one of the leading voices when it comes to the SEC for years. He has seen plenty of incredible games and been a part of plenty of huge moments. Still, he insists that last weekend was special after the years of build up to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC.

“Sunday night was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever encountered in this business — the fact that the reality had arrived and these two incredibly meaningful and historic programs were coming in,” Finebaum said.

Paul Finebaum: ‘No doubt’ Oklahoma is on the path back as they enter SEC

There seem to be agreement throughout the college football world that Texas is ready to come into the SEC and immediately compete. However, opinions differ on what kind of program Oklahoma will be in the SEC.

Finebaum spoke with McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning on Monday and shared that he is a believer in Brent Venables and the Sooners.

“I sensed genuine confidence from Brent Venables a week ago when we talked to him. I think that showed in Joe Castiglione’s decision to reward him after only two years, including one bad year. I think from a recruiting standpoint they’re on their way,” Finebaum said.

“They took a bump and a hit after Lincoln Riley left. They had to reprogram the entire place, reboot it. … From a vibes standpoint I think the program, I think this year if they can land somewhere between 8-4 and 9-3 they’ll be OK, considering their schedule. But I don’t have any doubt Oklahoma is clearly on the way back.”