SEC votes unanimously to invite Oklahoma and Texas to join in July 2025

By Kevin Kelley -

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) has voted unanimously to invite the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns to join the league in July 2025.

Oklahoma and Texas submitted official requests to join the SEC on Tuesday, July 27. Oklahoma and Texas would join the league in all sports effective on July 1, 2025 for the 2025-26 academic year.

“Today’s unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC’s longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey.  “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”

Today’s actions are in accordance with SEC Bylaw 3.1.2, which authorizes the Chief Executive Officers of the Conference to extend invitations for membership if at least three-fourths of its 14 member institutions vote to approve.

Both Oklahoma and Texas have Board of Regents meetings scheduled for Friday where they will discuss conference affiliation. It’s presumed that both will ultimately accept the offer to join the SEC.

A question that has already arisen is whether the two schools will attempt to join the SEC earlier than 2025. Lawyers and buyouts have expedited conference moves before and could also be utilized in this case.

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Comments (15)

What a difference a week makes.

There were obviously discussions going on behind the scenes for some time about this, but once it was made public it’s amazing fast the process went.

In one week a conference got Oklahoma and Texas, two of the prominent athletic programs in the country.

Folks should remember this about sports other than football too. OU and UT will see the financial windfall from football of course, but the impact on things like basketball, baseball and softball, and Olympic sports…. Oklahoma’s top ranked women’s gymnastics will have a great conference situation now… and get to compete in the conference that has gold medalist Suni Lee…

Texas is the number 1 athletic generating school in the nation while Oklahoma is number 9. Neither joined this conference because of financial woes nor do they expect to dominate the athletic competition of this conference as they do in their old conference. This realignment (which as only just begun) is about about much, much more.

Lots of talk out there that the SEC’s addition of Texas and Oklahoma will put the brakes on the expansion of the playoffs to 12 teams. I think there is a good chance that the other conferences will now vote to keep the playoffs at 4 schools.

Hearing the same. The idea is to keep it at four and see if infighting occurs with only 1 or 2 SEC teams making the playoffs each year. Might cause a split between the east and west teams.

If the Big 12 disassociates and what emerges are 4 power conferences, with the playoff structure remaining at four; only the four conference champions will receive the playoff bids. No multi-bids for the SEC.

I could see the B1G (now that Barry Alvarez is on board) pushing the status quo, maybe 6 at most. They make $35 million from the rose bowl. Why empower your largest competitor and lose money in the process

I wonder how long a 16 team SEC will last?
The WAC had 16 teams for only 3 years, but also had travel from California to Texas.
The SEC will also have less travel and more tv $$ than the WAC did, so I think the odds are in their favor.
If for whatever reason 16 teams doesn’t work, who would be the first to leave?

Additionally, I could see the Big 12 adding Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, and SMU to get back to 12 teams. That would re-ignite the Cincy/WVU rivalry, and bring back old SWC rivalries with Houston, SMU, Baylor, TCU, and TTU.
It’s probably the only move they could make, or else they would face dissolution.

Will be interesting how divisions or pods will line up. Obviously the first question about that will be, will there be a season where there are only 16 teams in the SEC? It seems like it could happen either way, with some speculation that more additions are on the horizon. My brain works better at thinking about a 16 team league, which could either do divisions or test out pods. 18 or 20 means scheduling definitely has to work differently than we’re used to.

I’ve seen the pod speculation that someone with the SEC network put out there, with Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas as a pod, LSU, A&M, and the Mississippi schools as a second, the Alabama and Tennessee schools as a third, and Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida as the 4th. It makes sense, especially if A&M is trying to avoid annual games with members of their former conference.

That said, if you want to keep divisions, and as long as you keep the annual cross-divisional rival, you could just put Texas in the West and Oklahoma in the “East” (north?). OU would be with Missouri who they shared a conference with in both the Big 12 and Big 8. They’d get to play Florida and Georgia annually. Texas would get their old rivalries with Arkansas and A&M back, plus would have the challenge of playing Bama and LSU annually. And then you’d have the Red River Rivalry as the annual crossover game in Dallas.

Obviously either solution, it’s going to be a while between you playing teams not matched with you annually… but… that happens.

Texas and Oklahoma to the west, Alabama and Auburn to the east and Missouri to the west. Everyone plays the teams in their division and 2 crossover games every year on a rotating basis. No permanent crossover games. The ones that wanted that are in the same division now. Expect this to happen in 2022 or 2023. Bank on it.

I would like to see something like:

West: Tex, TA&M, Okla, LSU
North: Ark, Mizz, UK, Vandy
South: OM, MS St, Ala, Aub
East: Flo, Geo, SCar, Tenn

3 games vs your division
1 permanent non-division school (Aub vs Geo, LSU vs Bama, Okla vs Ark, TA&M vs Mizz, UK vs Tenn, SCar vs Tenn, Tex vs OM, MS St vs Flo)–those are just my choices, could be different
4 games vs other division (on 3 year rotation)
And obviously your permanent non-division rival would be another school in the years you play that division.

Or you could do it like the NFL does it:
3 games vs your division
4 games vs other division (on 3 year rotation)
2 games vs school in same place as last season, but other division (1st in West vs 1st in South, or whatever)
Although this would mean 9 conference games, instead of 8.

Then top 2 division winners meet in the SEC Championship Game.

I think there is just as much push to just do away with divisions all together. Top two teams play in conference title game. Every team gets three teams they play each year to preserve rivalries, and the other five constantly rotate through. Or you could do four annual teams and five rotate if you go to nine games.

Oh yeah, that seems like it works. It was mostly Auburn/Georgia and Alabama/Tennessee that needed their permanent crossover games I guess? You feel that Alabama not playing LSU or the Mississippi schools annually would be considered acceptable? I don’t honestly know enough about how their fans feel about those contests.

Pods may come up still though. With the way continued expansion keeps coming up for the SEC, Big 10, and ACC, it seems like only a matter of time before one of them tries it out.

If you’re going to get rid of divisions, here are some schedule format ideas:
1-7-7 format: 1 permanent opponent, then 7 schools that you play in even years, and other 7 that you play in odd years. 8 conference games.
3-6-6 format: 3 permanent opponents, then 6 schools that you play in even years, and other 6 that you play in odd years. 9 conference games.
6-3-3-3 format: 6 permanent opponents, then the other 9 schools you play once every 3 years on a rotational basis. 9 conference games.
5-5-5 format: 5 permanent opponents, then 5 schools that you play in even years, and other 5 that you play in odd years. However 10 conference games might be too much.

Something I’d like to see, and this is just my opinion, instead of just having the top 2 teams meet in the SEC Championship Game, it should be the #1 team in the standings versus the next best team that they didn’t already beat. This would prevent scenarios when one team has to beat another team a second time.

7-2-2-2-2 format: if you’re going to keep the east and west division, this is the way to go. 7 permanent opponents, then the other 8 you play once every 4 years on a rotational basis. 9 conference games.