Oklahoma and Texas are SEC Bound

2021 SEC West Predictions
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Oklahoma and Texas are SEC Bound

There is little doubt that Oklahoma and Texas are SEC bound.  It’s a question of when and not if the move will happen.  However, there is a long list of variables involved with this move.  With that being said, let’s dive into the conundrum that Oklahoma and Texas are SEC bound.

Rivals or Allies

Oklahoma and Texas have been collaborating to leave the Big 12. This might be the strangest alliance in college football history!  We find two hated rivals putting aside differences and animosity for a common goal.  Over 100 years of arguably the most heated rivalry in college football has been shelved for a shared outcome. However, it’s amazing what can be ignored for the sake of self-improvement and the all-mighty dollar.

Cause and Effect of Oklahoma and Texas going to the SEC

The Big 12 announced they have been informed that Oklahoma and Texas would be leaving the conference following the 2024-2025 season. In all likelihood, neither university will be participating in the Big 12 past the 2021 season.  Conversely, Oklahoma and Texas are inevitably SEC bound.

Exit Strategy From the Big 12

Leaving earlier than 2025 will require a buyout fee.  The buyout is $70-$80 m million each.  ESPN may be willing to pay the buyout.  This payment is associated with money owed to Texas for the Longhorn Network.

Furthermore, there is a loophole in the Big 12 contract agreement. Correspondingly, if the Big 12 disbands before 2025 no buyout is required. Without Oklahoma and Texas, it’s not clear if the conference is still viable.

Oklahoma and Texas SEC Entry

Southeastern conference presidents and chancellors have scheduled a meeting for Thursday, July 29.  This meeting concerns adding Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC.  In this case, there may be time for a vote to take place.  In the first place, there is still much work to do in terms of existing TV contracts.

The board of regents for both Texas and Oklahoma has scheduled separate meetings Friday morning.  SEC membership will be discussed at this meeting. Notably, Oklahoma’s regents will meet in Oklahoma City, while Texas’ regents will meet via conference call.

Requirements for entry are three-fourths majority vote or 11 of 14 schools. Generally speaking, it is believed that enough SEC schools will vote to add the two new members.  The only public dissenting member originally was Texas A&M.  The athletic director of Texas A&M, Ross Bjork previously stated during SEC media “No one associated with Texas A&M wants this move for obvious reasons”.  Although in recent days, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has had a conversation with the A&M administration.  The Aggies have since reversed their position on the entry of Oklahoma and Texas.  At this point, a unanimous vote is expected. With all this in mind, Oklahoma and Texas are SEC bound.

Future of the Big 12

The future of the Big 12 looks bleak at best.  Reportedly most of the other schools in the conference have shown interest in the possibility of joining other conferences. The PAC 12 could be an interesting landing spot for Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU, and Baylor.  Iowa State seems like a natural fit for the Big 10, along with Kansas.  Of course, the ACC and would be a perfect fit for West Virginia.  Kansas State seems to be the orphan with no obvious landing spot.

The only other option would be for the Big 12 to add a name brand.  Alternatively, an upper-level group of five schools could be an option. The most often mentioned name is Notre Dame.  It is highly unlikely that the Irish would join an already unstable Big 12.  The other option would be to attempt to lure a few group of five programs.  Schools commonly mentioned are Houston, BYU, Boise State, Memphis, Cincinnati, and UCF.

However, with the conference on uneasy ground, it may be difficult to attract other members. It is unsure where the conference stands in the future. The current television contract expires in 2025.  The upside of the conference is that they would retain the power five designation.  Only time will tell if that would be enough to lure new blood to the Big 12.

The Final Word

Texas, in all likelihood, has outgrown the Big 12 financially. Underachievement has been the byword for the Longhorns for many years.  Constantly pulling in top 10 recruiting classes hasn’t translated into success. But, a change of conference may be what the longhorns need, financially if nothing else.

The Sooners have a different motive to head to the SEC. Oklahoma has been the bell cow for the Big 12 for over 10 years.  The Sooners feel disrespected and feel it’s time for a move.  In the first place, Oklahoma has won 14 Big 12 championships since 2000.  No other school has won more than two during that time span.  With all this in mind, the Sooners have dominated the conference. However, they feel disrespected in regards to scheduling and receiving early starts consistently.

In like manner, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione specifically asked for a later start time against Nebraska. FOX denied that request and scheduled the game for 11:00 am.  Now, is this how you treat the undeniable leader of the conference?  The Big 12 has only its self to blame for sending Oklahoma and Texas SEC bound.