Texas, Oklahoma May Leave Big 12 for SEC

Two college football powerhouses are threatening to turn an already-powerful Southeastern Conference (SEC) into a 16-team superconference.

The University of Texas and Oklahoma University, two blue-chip college football programs from the Big 12 Conference, are the teams considering joining the SEC, according to various media reports.

Early Monday morning, both universities began their transition from the Big 12 to the SEC. The two schools announced they will not renew their grant of rights agreement with the Big 12, though they plan to “honor their existing … agreements” through the 2024-25 term.

The joint statement marks the first step the two Big 12 powerhouses had to take on their way to leave the conference, though the timing of their departure remains unknown, according to reports from CBS Sports.

secIn a recent report from CBS Sports, reporter Dennis Dodd spoke with sources who believe the schools will announce the move in the next “24-28 hours.” Another report from the Houston Chronicle cited a “high-ranking college official with knowledge of the situation” who said the SEC would make an announcement introducing the new conference members “within a couple of weeks.”

Meanwhile, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, along with officials from Texas and Oklahoma, have all refused to comment on the initial reports, but there have been no outward denials. This is despite resistance from some tangential parties, namely Texas A&M, not wanting another Lone Star State team in the SEC, and Oklahoma State, not wanting to be left alone in the Big 12.

The additions of Texas and Oklahoma would make the SEC the first 16-team superconference while simultaneously adding massive brand power to a league already seen as the best in college sports.

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Big 12 officials, according to CBS Sports, have discussed the idea of giving Texas and Oklahoma additional revenue shares as a way of enticing the two schools to stay in the conference. Such a structure would grant the Longhorns and Sooners an additional half-share annually (1.5 shares each), bumping their payouts to approximately $56 million per year.

The other eight schools would decrease their payouts accordingly. Big 12 schools currently average $37 million in annual TV rights earnings, including revenue from bowl games and the NCAA Tournament.

To read more on the Big 12’s last-ditch efforts to retain Texas and Oklahoma from CBS Sports, click here.