Oklahoma, Texas to officially join SEC in 2024

By Kevin Kelley -

The Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns will leave the Big 12 and join the SEC for the 2024 season, it was officially announced on Thursday evening.

Both schools were set to join the SEC for the 2025 season, but were successfully able to negotiate an exit in time for 2024.

“As I have consistently stated, the Conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” said Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning. I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process, and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”

The departure of both Oklahoma and Texas one year earlier than originally announced is subject to final approval from the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas governing Boards.

“The Southeastern Conference learned today of the decision by the Big 12 Conference to alter the membership exit date for the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. “We are continuing our preparation for this membership transition, and we look forward to welcoming the Conference’s new members and moving into our future as a 16-team league.

“The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC previously voted with unanimous approval to accept the application of Oklahoma and Texas to join the Conference on July 1, 2025 and have now authorized the Conference Office to proceed with facilitating the transition of Oklahoma and Texas to become full members of the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2024.”

In order to depart the Big 12 one year early, Oklahoma and Texas had to agree to terms with the conference and its media partners, ESPN and FOX, per a report from Brett McMurphy of The Action Network.

Instead of Texas and OU paying an exit fee — which was expected to be about $50 million each — the Big 12 allowed OU and Texas to leave early by forgoing $100 million of revenue distribution. FOX will receive $20 million of that revenue distribution to offset not getting any future Texas or Oklahoma games after 2023, sources told Action Network.

The remaining $80 million of the revenue distribution will be divided by the eight remaining Big 12 schools ($10 million each).

This allows the Big 12’s remaining members to be “made whole,” despite the early exit by the Sooners and Longhorns, sources said.

Also, in their first year in the SEC in 2024-25, Oklahoma and Texas will not receive a full share from the SEC and actually will receive less than the $40 million they would have received if they remained the final year in the Big 12, sources said.

With the addition of Oklahoma and Texas, the SEC will expand to 16 teams in 2024. Barring the addition of any new members, the Big 12 will go from 14 to 12 teams that season.

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Comments (26)

CBS will lose the SEC just as OU and Texas arrive, but they’ll be fine now that they have the Big Ten.

Meanwhile, I think the Big 12 should add Boise State, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, and Tulane and end the American’s P6 dream for good. Lots of large markets in the schools that would come from the American, plus a well-regarded small-market G5 school in Boise State, which would also bring in the only non-green playing surface in the P5.

The Big 12 would likely renegotiate its TV deals to accommodate the additional schools, and sublicense a package of games to another broadcaster, perhaps CBS (for games on the broadcast network at noon, plus games on Paramount Network and Paramount+) to lessen the load on ESPN and Fox. Thus, the Big 12 would join the Big Ten in having three media rights partners.

You really “think” the Big 12 should go to 18 schools? Don’t you “think” 16 would be the max? And isn’t the Pac 12 currently courting SMU (along with SDSU) for membership?

Idk if the Big 12 would add anyone. South Florida, Temple, and Tulane don’t bring a lot of value. SMU would likely need to increase the size of their stadium. Out of your list, Memphis and Boise are the only ones that I could potentially see the Big 12 inviting, but do you really want a conference stretching from the Northwest to the Southeast, with not as much tv revenue as the Big Ten or SEC?

Markets matter a lot. Four of the six schools I’m proposing for the Big 12 are in top 25 markets. And SMU-TCU being a conference game again would allow the game to be played on Black Friday at AT&T Stadium, the day after the Cowboys play their Thanksgiving game.

The remnant members of the Big 12 agreeing to clear Oklahoma and Texas off their conference books early, coupled with the report of the Pac-12 considering San Diego State (and SMU) as potential new member(s), seem to suggest that the Pac-12 has full intention of adding five (or four) of the eight Big 12 remnants to join the new order of 16-constituent power conferences. This is not a good sign for Big 12 power conference survival.

I imagine fans of different conferences probably have different perspectives on this, but… as someone who won’t have a team in the Pac 12 or Big 12 in a year and a half… I think the Big 12 looks like the more stable of the 2. SMU and Houston would have been smart additions to the Pac 12 a couple years ago, but now Houston is off the table and SDSU is the best option to shore up Souther California, but not an ideal choice of they’d have already been a member. Also, the Big 12 could have invited SMU on multiple occasions and didn’t, so I’m not sure how the Pac 12 adding them would sweeten the deal for Big 12 teams. And the Big 12 got a rather good tv deal quickly for their future membership. The Pac 12 has had a slow, drawn out process since USC and UCLA said they were leaving.

I still see one conference (the Pac 12) where their most prominent members will continue to eagerly refresh their inbox for an invite, and if Washington and Oregon leave, it’s a huge blow to the conference, while the other conference (the Big 12) looks like it’s settling in for the long haul, and even if a member of 2 DID get drawn away, none of them would deflate a pretty strong, pretty balanced conference.

I’m sure I don’t see all the factors, just like I’m sure you don’t. But I’d be pretty surprised if the Pac 12 adds anyone that isn’t AAC or MWC.

I think you have it backward. With an annual media deal of ~$32 million per school (compared to ~$100 million for the B1G and forecasted for the SEC), I see the eight Big 12 remnants as the ones eagerly searching for the rescue lines.

For 1, you’re comparing the media deal with the Big 12 to the media deals with the SEC and the Big 10. Obviously any team from the Big 12 (as well as the Pac 12) would have to strongly consider the jump to the SEC or Big 10 if they were offered the chance. Buuut the comparison you should be making is between the Big 12 (who completed their media deal early and got a better deal than they used to have even with Texas and OU) and the Pac 12 (who started negotiating earlier since their current media deal runs out sooner but who still has been unsuccessful in coming to an agreement and who is looking at adding SDSU and SMU to try to get a better deal than they were originally offered). Right now the Big 12 is in a more secure situation while the Pac 12 is sweating trying to get a deal. Obviously if either conference adds teams from the other, that conference will be stronger, but right now the Big 12 looks like it’s been better at negotiating and making their members happy because…

For 2, both Oregon and Washington have notably explored going to the Big 10 already, and now there are current reports that Arizona State is unhappy with how negotiations are going and is threatening to explore other conferences if something doesn’t change.

The comparison to the B1G and the SEC is the only likening that should be made!! If a Power-5 conference is not accruing media revenue at a level to that of the B1G or SEC, it will soon find itself inconsequential on Power-5 landscape. At this time, it appears all of the other three (ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12), formerly labeled Power-5 conferences are doomed to this end. The Big 12 has settled and accepted this fate. The ACC and the Pac-12 are still fighting. The current properties that the Pac-12 hold are of higher value than those currently held by the Big 12. Going forward expect the ACC to announce the addition of West Virginia and Connecticut and the Pac-12 to gather the remaining 5 public institutions from the Big 12 remnants (the Pac-12 would never accept any religious affiliated schools to its membership). This configuration of a 16-school Pac-12 will generate more money for the former Big 12 remnants than what they would have received by staying in the Big 12.

BTW – If the ACC decides to take Cincinnati in place of UConn… the Big 12 would disband. This ‘secure’ situation for the Big 12 is any but.

Yeah, you have a huge math problem with your theory. There isn’t a way to take the remaining Pac 12 schools (10), add 6 Big 12 teams, and get to SEC or Big 10 level money. There just isn’t. And even if there was, they would be doing that… adding the 6 most valuable Big 12 schools to the Pac 12, not looking at adding SDSU and SMU and going from there. There’s a reason why the Pac 12 is struggling with their TV deal right now.

Most people recognize that at this point the SEC and Big 10 are going to a different level as far as money, and the goal for the Big 12, Pac 12, and ACC is the race to be the 3rd most profitable conference, (and it will likely be a bit of a jump between 2nd and 3rd).

Are there the programs out there to make another conference that could get SEC/Big 10 money? Sure, but you’d probably need to blow up the other 3 power conferences and start over with money in mind, not start with one of the 3 existing conferences and add a few from there. Or at the very least, you’d want to try to tie down Notre Dame and go from there.

If the Pac 12 adds SDSU and/or SMU they are trying to make sure they stay above the G5 conferences but they would be acknowledging they aren’t going for SEC/Big 10 money. The same with most of the other moves that have been discussed for the Big 12 (USF? Memphis? Boise State? Tulane? UNLV?) or ACC (with the obvious exception of the ACC trying to nail down Notre Dame as a full member. Even then, it’s unlikely that they can get to SEC/Big 10 money with 16 members unless they kick out a few teams and add a few different teams. But with Notre Dame and the right 16th team…? Maybe.)

The problem being discussed has never been how to generate B1G/SEC money – it has been about revenue-maximization for the Big 12 remnants and how a reconstituted Pac-12, that would include 6 of the Big 12 remnants, would be more financially viable than the Group-of-5 hybrid coming in 2024. Your The fact is, the 6-remnant proposal is more profitable than the reconstituted Big 12 proposal.

The Pac-12 internal struggles have centered around the inability to reach a membership-promised number of +$40 million per school (not B1G/SEC money). That struggle would cease upon the 6-remnant plan being adapted. And while 40 is much less than 100, it is still greater than 32. In the day of NIL, collectives and transport portal enticements that $8 million is important.

Points in closing…
Notre Dame is not joining ACC. Their next media deal is estimated to be ~$60 million per year.
The Pac-12 is not extending invitations to any religiously affiliated school (TCU, Baylor, SMU) or any California state university system school (San Diego State). The media reports of such activity are twaddle.

I agree with SDSU in the Pac-12, but they should have Colorado State as the other one, not SMU. It would make Colorado-CSU a conference game for the first time since 1947, which was the last football season CU competed in the old Skyline Conference, their other sports had already joined what is now known as the Big 12 that year.

Yeah, see… you were just talking about how markets matter a lot. The Pac 12 is hurting having lost USC and UCLA, each of which draw a lot of eyes and were part of a giant market. One of the best things they could do is add a Texas market. Honestly, if they’d been on their game a few years ago, they could have tried for SMU/Houston and gotten both Dallas and Houston markets, as well as travel partners. Now they’re playing defense with southern California markets, so SDSU is kind of a must, but they need to do something to convince the tv people not to screw them now that they don’t have Los Angeles.

Colorado State doesn’t do that. The Buffaloes probably max out the Colorado market as far as the tv people are concerned. The closest you could mayyyybe get staying in the Rockies or west is… who? UNLV? Fresno State? San Jose State? SMU isn’t THAT far removed from the Rockies… er… in that some of the Rockies go through Texas…? And it gets the Pac 12 into Texas for tv and recruiting. And, yeah, the Pac 12 is looking at these 2 teams because they want to shore up and finalize their new tv contract, not because of traditions. Unfortunately none of the big realignment moves have been about tradition, and it’s just a happy coincidence when rivalries are maintained or renewed during a shift.

Sure, you could ask how much of a fanbase SMU has, and I’m not saying you’d be wrong to question that… but… Texas people will pay attention if all the sudden Washington and Oregon and Arizona State and Cal and Colorado are traveling to play in Dallas. And there aren’t that many alternate options that have bigger fanbases.

Then maybe the Pac-12 should go for UNLV. Las Vegas is a fast-growing market. They had two pro sports leagues come into their city in less than 5 years. They would be a better travel partner for SDSU than SMU.

I know there are rich kids from California that go to SMU for college, but that’s the only SMU/west coast connection I can think of.

Also if UNLV were to enter the Pac-12, I could see the university changing its name to Nevada Tech University to forge a more distinct identity than being attached to the University of Nevada in Reno which despite being older has a smaller enrollment, and the nickname “Rebels” would be retired to fully cut ties with the Confederate imagery that has been around since UNLV was called Nevada Southern.

So, I noticed the tweet in the side column of this site about how if the SEC goes to 9 game conference schedules there will be a lot of tweaking and/or ripping up of contracts for SEC schools that already have some 4-game non-conf schedules planned… which is true, but…

… surely they’ll end up with a 9-game conference schedule, right? Sankey just mentioned Texas/Texas A&M, Texas/Arkansas, Oklahoma/Missouri (none of which will be annual unless you get more than one annual rival since Texas and OU are going to keep playing each other)… and I find it hard to believe that other SEC teams are going to be fine only having 1 permanent, annual rivalry game (which is all anyone would likely get in an 8-game format). With a 9-game format you could have 3! Surely the “we need multiple rivals” SEC members outnumber the “how will we ever cope with playing 9 games?!” members… right?

I feel like a lot of Big 12 teams had to do this a little while back when they switched to a 9-game conference schedule. I remember Texas may have had to cancel a game somewhere (maybe?), but most of the 4th games just got pushed back to fill slots in future schedules. ALSO, at least 2 series that are still listed on this site are Texas/Georgia and Texas/Florida, which will presumably go away as non-conference games. Missouri looks like they’d have some work to do, but most teams only would have to delay/cancel a game or two. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

There should be a rollback to 7 conference games across the P5, both to maintain certain rivalries that otherwise would be lost to realignment, and to put more top-notch OOC games on the schedule which would look good in the eyes of the CFP committee. Face it, most conference games aren’t very attractive ratings-wise, so reducing them to make room for more non-conference heavyweight clashes would be good.

I mean, I imagine this would vary a lot based on which team/conference you’re a fan of. As a fan of a team that’s moving to the SEC a year early now… I honestly don’t even see how they’re considering staying at 8 conference games. With 9 conference games I’d get to see Texas/Oklahoma, Texas/Arkansas, Texas/Texas A&M annually … 3 traditional rivalries… AND I’d get to see every other member of the SEC make it to Austin over the course of 4 years (plus have the option to go to a Texas game at any SEC venue over those same 4 years. Plus, during the first 4 years of that, Texas plays home/home with Michigan and Ohio State.

I get that it may be tricky, at some point, to usually have 1 marquee non-conference game, and eventually I’ll probably want to give up one of the two cupcakes (which probably will be rough on the players having 11 games at that level) or I’d want the ncaa to add another regular season game. But, I feel like I’d be pretty happy for 10+ years playing 9 SEC games and a marquee OOC game.

It’s an interesting idea, but at that point it kind of feels like the schedules could easily slip from being slightly unbalanced to super unbalanced, with a average team getting a favorable schedule and a few good teams running the gauntlet. I think I’d almost prefer 2 divisions or the pod thing than that. At least that would mean you won your division to play in a conf championship game rather than lucking into missing 6 or 7 of the 8 toughest teams.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to see more games against opponents out of conference… but… I also think conference championships should mean something. And, whoever else is like to see my team play, I don’t see a point in the near future where their schedule will look boring.

Plus I think the Cotton Bowl Stadium should install permanent lights in case ESPN and ABC want the OU/Texas game at night.

Yeah, the game isn’t a day game because of any lighting situation. It’s in the middle of the State Fair, which generally closes at 9pm. (A night game goes later than that.) Fair Park isn’t necessarily the easiest place to get in and out of, so a huge crowd trying to depart at night (rather than some leaving immediately after the game, and the rest leaving staggered throught the rest of the day since they can do State Fair stuff) would probably be a nightmare. And it’s 2 hated rival crowds in a neutral site location. I’ve been plenty of times, and… I don’t think that it’s a game where both sides need even more time to tailgate (drink) leading up to it. Plus, it’s just a different scenario for police and security. Most games are held on college campuses where the university police departments and local police know what they’re dealing with. Other neutral sites are held at NFL stadiums with their own dedicated security. In both those cases the security gets to focus on this one major event. In the case of Texas/OU, you’re mixing State Fair crowds with football crowds for the entire day, and throwing it into a Dallas neighborhood. The football game doesn’t have a separate enterence, so you can’t focus security for the game separately from security for the fair. You actually walk through the fair to get to the game. Adding nighttime, adding longer pre-drinking, adding transportation chaos after the fair is technically already closed. Just not great.

Plus, the tv guys like a big primetime game… but they also like a big game to start the day. They want football fans to sit down in front of the tv at 11am Central (noon Eastern) and stay there alllllll day. That’s why the Alabama @ Texas game last year was at 11am despite it being early September in Austin with 100+ degree temps. They didn’t care about what it meant to in-person fans. They wanted to start the day with a must-see game so they get viewers early, and some people will just stick around until the big evenging game. I kind of imagine that, if the tv people WANTED it to be a later game, they’d push for it to be a later game.

As much fun as it would be to watch Texas/OU on TV as a night game… in person, I just don’t think it would work the best. And people will watch it whatever time it’s on.

Breaking news. With the additions of Texas and Oklahoma, the SEC is announcing they are reducing their number of conference games from 8 to 7 because of how tough their schedule is and to gear up for the pending 12 game playoff. They will be replacing the 8th game with either a Sunbelt or FCS game to make up for this.