The Texas Longhorns once had an invite to join the SEC and decided against it. In hindsight, that decision may have cost Texas a golden opportunity.

Five years have passed since Texas A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 and officially joined the SEC. In that time frame, the SEC has captured two football national championships, two Heisman trophy winners, and one basketball national championship. The Big 12 has not captured any of those accomplishments in that same time frame.

The SEC is certainly the more enviable of the two conferences, and Kirk Bohls of The Austin American-Statesman believes Texas missed out on its opportunity to join the SEC more than 25 years ago. Bohls listed three reasons why Texas ultimately declined an invitation to join the SEC:

First, because it believed the SEC cheats and has long before Hugh Freeze showed up at the Grove. Trouble with that theory is everyone cheats, to a certain degree…Second, because the SEC was beneath Texas and the SWC/Big 12, academically speaking. Well, maybe then…And third, because the bulk of Texas’ coaches opposed such a move. Yeah, they were scared. Probably with good reason.

Unfortunately for Texas, things do tend to change over time, and the SEC has blossomed while the Big 12 has declined.

Texas finds itself in a conference doomed to failure because the Big 12 has just three national brands. Oklahoma football. Kansas basketball…And Texas football, which hasn’t been all that healthy of late.

It is always a possibility that conference realignment could happen again down the road, but the SEC is strong enough without a program of Texas’ stature. Longhorns fans will have to simply wonder what could have been if Texas joined the SEC in 1991.