The Big 12 took a blow today as Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns took the first steps by officially announcing Monday that they will not be renewing their media rights grant with the conference, which is expected to expire in 2025. The two flagship programs are reportedly interested in making a groundbreaking move by joining the SEC.
Both schools publicly released a joint statement informing conferences of their intentions to seeking membership in the SEC.
“Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement. The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.”
Oklahoma & Texas make it official: they’re leaving conference & expected to apply for SEC membership pic.twitter.com/65h35M18OF
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 26, 2021
First Reaction to the News
Rumors of Texas and Oklahoma reaching out to join the SEC first circulated during the annual SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama.
Being the only SEC Team in the state of Texas, Texas A&M Head Coach Jimbo Fisher was one of the highlights after his comments regarding the recent news on “The Paul Finebaum Show” after taking the podium, Wednesday.
"Be careful what you ask for if you jump in this league…"
-Jimbo Fisher with some early reaction to reports that Texas & Oklahoma could be looking to join the SEC pic.twitter.com/5AWij40jO4
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) July 21, 2021
This will be the first time the two programs would compete in the same conference since the Aggies left the Big 12 nearly a decade ago.
Nationally referred to as Head Ball Coach and Gator legend Steve Spurrier appeared on “SportsScene” with host Steve Russel, Monday, to provide his reaction to the new development surrounding the possibility of the SEC adding two more teams to an already stacked program.
Officials of the Big 12 were not blindsided by the news as it was reported last Thursday a videoconference took place to discuss the possible moves the two flagship programs could participate in.
Big 12 ADs and CEOs meeting at 5 pm today to discuss Texas, OU situation.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 22, 2021
A New Era in College Football
Winning the last six Big 12 championships, Oklahoma entwine their future with Texas who is one of the highest grossing teams in revenue was they head into a new world of college football with name images and likeness regulations.
With reports of college athletes taking advantage of endorsements for the first time this season, expect Sooners and Longhorn Head Coaches Lincoln Riley and Steve Sarkisian to take advantage of the schools positions to make a move to the SEC in recruiting.
Being that three of the last four national champions coming out of the SEC, Texas and Oklahoma, if approved by the 11 of the 14 presidents and chancellors to join the conference, will have the opportunity to convince high school recruits to their program after reports of Alabama quarterback Bryce Young profiting in the ballpark of a million dollars without even playing a game.
However, there is a possibility that the two teams won’t wait until 2025 to join the SEC. By giving a required 18-month notice and paying a leaving early fee north of $75 million dollars, the flagship schools could be in the mix to compete for the SEC title sooner rather than later.
The Big 12 now have two spots to fill as they search for other teams to join the conference after the departure of Texas and Oklahoma.