Texas, Oklahoma provide official notice of leaving Big 12 for SEC

By Brian Wilmer -

Texas and Oklahoma made official Monday their intent to leave the Big 12 for the SEC after the 2024-25 season.

The schools issued a joint statement, which read:

The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Oklahoma notified the Big 12 Athletic Conference today that they will not be renewing their grants of media rights following expiration in 2025. 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.

Brian Davis of The Austin American-Statesman offered the possibility that the move may occur sooner.

Chip Brown of Horns247 reported Monday that the earliest the move could likely take place is 2023 — unless, of course, several circumstances occur.

Big 12 bylaws also require 18 months notice for schools leaving the conference, meaning the earliest Texas and OU could join the SEC is June 2023 — again, unless a settlement agreement is reached or the Big 12 dissolves.

The only current Texas institution in the SEC also holds some cards here. Texas A&M announced Friday its intention to meet later today regarding its conference future.

UPDATE (Monday, 2:00pm Eastern):  Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby issued this statement regarding the departures:

Although our eight members are disappointed with the decisions of these two institutions, we recognize that intercollegiate athletics is experiencing rapid change and will most likely look much different in 2025 than it does currently,” stated Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “The Big 12 Conference will continue to support our member institutions’ efforts to graduate student-athletes, and compete for Big 12 and NCAA championships.   Like many others, we will use the next four years to fully assess what the landscape will look like in 2025 and beyond.  The remaining eight institutions will work together in a collaborative manner to thoughtfully and strategically position the Big 12 Conference for continued success, both athletically and academically, long into the future.

Further updates will be provided as they are available.

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Comments (19)

The way things are going, I don’t think that Oklahoma and Texas wanna have 2 lame-duck seasons. I can’t imagine how much resentment there is from the other 8 members of the Big 12.

So, just curious, what are the chances Oklahoma gets the votes needed and Texas does not? Or vice versa. What happens then?

I can’t imagine they vote on the schools as a pair, they’d almost have to vote for each individually, right?

It sure will be strange watching their fans do the SEC chant.

Longhorn fan here. Looking forward to stepping up competition which ever conference we move to. (Clearly, that looks to be the SEC). Absolutely realize we need to step up our game, at least in football, to be competitive. Excited to see baseball after this happens, and think a lot of other sports will be a bit of a push as far as whether the competition goes up or down. Hoping we don’t drop down to the usual SEC standard of 3 OOC cupcakes a season in football, (and, yeah, I know not EVER team plays that way… my point is, I don’t want Texas to do so either). But as far as chanting SEC…? Nah, that’s ok. I’m here for the competition where ever we were going to end up moving, SEC, Big 10, some kind of hybrid of the better parts of the ACC and Big 12… but the SEC is still a murky, messy conference and I’ll be looking for us to represent ourselves well against the competition therein, not becoming a SEC homer. I’m sure some UT fans may chant, but I imagine a lot of us won’t. I’m not really sure I understand why Bama fans or LSU fans or UGA fans or Florida fans (or any team that actually is a national contender regularly) would do that either.

I’d be interested in knowing how the vote count would go to get one school in and one not in. I don’t see it happening, personally. I honestly think that, while A&M isn’t the biggest fan of Texas joining, that they would be almost equally iffy about OU joining. It’s not like they were fans of them either. If they vote no on one, I think they’ll vote no on both. At this point they may end up voting yes on both to save face.

The one report speculated that Texas could still go out on their own. They have the most important thing, a TV network. Notre Dame has put out a pretty good model for being an independent football team and having some success at it. The biggest problem is finding a home for the rest of the sports. The Mountain West could work, but if that is where you are going for possible bowl tie ins Texas could be disappointed. I guess there is a chance that if Texas decides to go independent they could reach an agreement with the Big12 (if it would still exist) to continue housing teams there. The Big10 might also be an option, but I imagine the they would want a scheduling agreement like ND/ACC have.

Hogaie –

Yeah, the big problem with going Indy is that, while football is king for making these decisions, Texas cares about most of their other sports too. Texas Baseball is a big deal. Texas Volleyball is an annual contender. Texas Basketball is building a brand new arena and poached a successful coach from a conference opponent. They’re not going to be super excited about joining a conference where these teams don’t get much attention during their regular seasons. And now with student athletes able to monetize themselves, playing on the biggest stages all season matters more than ever for recruiting. Notre Dame had a desperate ACC (at the time, remember that rumors were swirling about the football-focused members being poached, and they needed stability that a partnership with Notre Dame could help provide). It’s a little trickier now though. The SEC wouldn’t be desperate enough to accept the other sports without football. The ACC is more stable now, plus is far enough away that having baseball visit Syracuse and Chestnut Hill regularly would be… iffy… especially if it wasn’t part of a package deal with football. The Pac 12 might be desperate enough, but some of the away games would be even more far flung. The Big 10 would have a few closer games in the mix, but I’m mot entirely convinced they’d be desperate enough to do that. They’d be more likely to ignore OU’s non-AAU status and try to invite Texas and OU as full members (maybe along with Kansas and someone else) before the SEC deal is solidified. And yeah, I really don’t see Texas being big on stashing their non-football sports in the AAC, MWC, or C-USA. I’d be pretty surprised at any of those.

I could be totally wrong, but I don’t think that Indy status holds much appeal to Texas right now.

Jeff-

As a Uconn fan the last thing you would want would for Texas to be in the AAC. Is the Big 12 really that bad!! haha

Our recruiting suffered and it almost instantly turned around once Uconn announced that is was going to rejoin the Big East.

Hell, we’d gladly invite Texas to the BE. :-)

Side note, I was at the Texas/Uconn game last time Texas came to CT. Great game and came down to the wire!

Mike –

I was listing the options that would remain under the assumption that Texas and OU have already announced their departure from the conference (like they have), and that the conference will not remain as viable after at least a few of the other teams find new homes. It seems like a) the conference will downgrade a bit more before it’s done with schools like Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, etc, very likely to find new conferences, and the rest having to follow suit, and b) whatever conference remains will look very different. Basically, having all of our sports in a power conference is more of a sure thing than splitting between football independent and who ever will take the rest.

And that’s cool. I was at the heartbreaker vs UConn in 2011 in Austin. Also a close ending.

Just curious, what would UConn fans think about the ACC vs the Big East? I realize the ACC, at this point, probably will be making more football-focused moves, since that’s what’s driving most of the invitations for Power 5 conferences, so that may be less likely these days. I’ve always thought they’d be a good fit because of their basketball programs though, and let’s be honest, it would be very possible for UConn football to compete with the lower-to-mid-level teams and build from that…? Plus, there seem like there’d be some natural rivalries. Or is this one of those topics that’s been played out too much already?

Jeff –

Uconn fans seemed to have dropped the ACC discussion after going back to the BE. BE seems like home for us as a basketball first school.

That said Uconn wouldn’t turn down a ACC invite. Fans would feel terrible after the BE took Uconn back with open arms.

Yes, uconn with fit in well there. Uconn already has huge rivalries with BC and Syracuse plus old BE teams like Pitt, Virginia Tech, Louisville. Plus Duke/UNC Uconn games would be instant classics. Hell that 99 National Championship vs Duke was amazing.

They currently have several football games scheduled vs ACC teams. Clemson this year, 2022 BC, NC State, Syracuse, 2023 Duke, NC State, BC 2024 Duke, Wake.

Uconn/Syracuse would lock down the NY market, Uconn always travels well there regardless.

Uconn has several other high level sports programs; soccer, baseball, womens basketball of course, field hockey.

I don’t see why football can’t get back to where they were in the 2000’s. 2010 they went to a BCS game but Edsell left and Uconn made two very bad coaching hires.

Uconn regularly beat Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt in football in the BE.

Recruiting has been getting better the last 2 years. The 2022 class is ranked 62nd ahead of ACC teams Wake, Louisville, Syracuse. Of course, that would get a massive hit if they were in the ACC.

The president of Oklahoma State twitted out, “We are disappointed by the lack of engagement and transparency from our colleagues at OU over the past months on a matter with serious ramifications for our state. We have historically worked together to advance our state and address issues based on a partnership built on trust.”

From the state of Texas side, the president and athletic director at Baylor expressed their sentiments as “it is critical to our economy and Texas’ overall reputation to maintain five ‘Power Five’ institutions, reinforcing the Lone Star State’s athletic preeminence.”

The terminology of such expressions as, “…our state…” and “…critical to our economy…” would suggest that they are threating to enlisting their respective legislatures and executive branches to stop this Red River end run. I believe this is a harbinger for of events that are coming and may not end as well as Longhorns and Sooners would like.

Bills have been filed with the Texas state legislature… that are not part of anything that will come before a special session any time soon. The Texas legislature meets every 2 years. UT is pretty likely to have secured a spot as either a member of the SEC, Big 10, or some other conference, before a bill would be even debated in the legislature. And they didn’t do anything when A&M left. And other Big 12 members are already looking at other conferences to join. Soooo, yeah, there will be a lot of talk, but the very fact that Oklahoma State has already been in touch with the Big 10 and Pac 12 probably means they can see the writing on the wall. Rumors suggest that other Texas schools are acting similarly, talking the the Pac 12.

I’m thinking one of two things happens. I’ll give this a slightly better chance. The Big12 goes on the offensive and starts adding teams and expands to either 12 or 14 teams. They are still a Power 5 conference and might be able to keep that with the right additions. My guess is they go after Houston, Memphis, BYU, Boise, North Dakota St, and probably SMU (Tulsa or Tulane could go here as well).
North Division of- Boise St, BYU, Iowa St, Kansas, Kansas St, North Dakota St, West Virginia
South Divison of- Baylor, Houston, Memphis, Oklahoma St, SMU, TCU, Texas Tech

This conference could offer some fun football. The MWC might have some low cards to choose from to replace Boise, but let’s say they go with New Mexico St as its at least somewhat in the area. They could also add Montana or even see if Idaho(not ideal, but they were a FBS team before) wants to step back up. AAC would have a heavier lift but there would be some combination of SunBelt/Conf USA/Ind teams they could add.

The second way I see this playing out is a disaster, which along with everything else that has played out this year (expanded playoffs, NIL) will probably kill the sport. The SEC adds Oklahoma and Texas. This sets off an arms race with the Big10. To make scheduling easier the SEC and Big10 decide to expand to 20 team set ups (9 from your division, 2 from opposite division, and 1 non conference). The PAC 12 is safe as neither conference is interested in 10:00 or 11:00pm local kick-offs. The Big10 adds Iowa St and the SEC adds West Virginia. The rest of the Big12 is cast off with Kansas deciding to shutter the football program all together. I’ll get back to the rest of the conference shortly. The Big10 and SEC decide to cannibalize the weaker ACC (sorry ACC fans, after Clemson there isn’t much there). The SEC gentleman’s agreement about not adding teams from the same state as a member has been neutered by adding Texas. The SEC gets aggressive and adds Clemson (SEC now has added Clemson and W.V.). With this first domino falling and seeing the writing on the wall Notre Dame reluctantly joins the Big10. (Big10 has now added Iowa St and Notre Dame). I don’t think their scheduling/must join ACC contract will hold up if Clemson jumps ship. The Big10 then goes on to add No. Carolina, Duke, Louisville, and Virginia (Big10 has now added Duke, Iowa St, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia). The SEC then adds NC State and Virginia Tech (SEC now up to Clemson, NC State, Va Tech, W. Virginia). Both conferences blow up their current divisions and start from scratch (I wont speculate on that right now.) At this point you have the following teams left over from two conferences. ACC- Boston College, Florida St, Georgia Tech, Miami, Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest. Big 12- Baylor, Kansas, Kansas St, Okla St, and TCU. I fully expect if this plays out for Kansas and Wake to either fold football or at least drop down a level like Idaho a couple of years ago. The AAC has 11 teams and would be the perfect landing spot for the remaining 3 northeast ACC teams. The question then becomes is the AAC happy at 14 or do they want to go further and fully expand to 20 teams as well. An expansion to 20 teams will leave one out and my guess is that TCU would return to the MWC

So based on all of our movements you get the following
Big10- Duke, Louisville, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa St, Maryland, Michigan St, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Ohio St, Penn St, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin, Virginia.

SEC- Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi St, Missouri, NC State, Oklahoma, So Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.

AAC- Baylor, Boston College,Central Florida, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Florida St, Ga Tech, Houston, Kansas St, Memphis, Miami, Navy, Oklahoma St, Pitt, SMU, South Florida, Syracuse, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, (Kansas and Wake could also join here making it a 22 team conference. I could also see them both joining as a full non football member.)

The Pac-12 does not expand due to geographical limitations and the teams available around them. If they do add teams my guess is they add 2 new teams. Most likely Boise St and San Diego St.

The MWC having had TCU come back only needs to add one team. My guess is they go hard for BYU.

(C-USA, MAC, Sun Belt are left unchanged. Independents lose BYU, and ND.)

I know there are some limitations to this as certain conferences only want members that belong to certain academic groups, etc; but if the sport goes nuclear like this I expect a lot of that to get thrown out as survival is the most important thing. On a side note, the Big10 and AAC are head and shoulders the two best basketball conferences in the nation.

Again I’m hoping the second theory doesn’t play out as I really think it would damage the sport beyond repair.

I know you never say never, but the SEC is never adding West Virginia. If they wanted West Virginia, West Virginia would already be in the conference. I don’t think they want them and never have. I don’t see that changing.

If the SEC expands beyond Texas and Oklahoma, it will be most likely a choice between ACC schools like North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Virginia Tech, or North Carolina State. I don’t think they’d go after Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State or Miami, but who knows?

The problem for the Big Ten is there are just not the big names out there to snag. Sure, they could go after Notre Dame and that would be a big deal. Maybe adding ND and a Syracuse, Pitt or BC would be a move that would counter the SEC’s power grab. But beyond that, what do you do? Kansas and Iowa State fit, but it doesn’t really move the needle much in terms of perception of the conference. USC is too far away, but they have the nave value, I think. Colorado? but again you’re getting pretty far away.

People have always said we’d end up with four super conferences… but I am beginning to think we’ll end up with the SEC at the top, the Big Ten slightly below, two okay conferences in the ACC and Pac-12 and then everyone else.

I just can’t imagine the recruiting advantages the SEC is going to have going forward.

What will the SEC want done with the Longhorn network? Will they want it gone or will they allow every member to have their own version of it? There already is a SEC Network co branded with ESPN.

A few months ago Euro soccer tried a super league and it didn’t work. Then some speculated a college football super league. So let’s try this on for size a 40-team super league free of the NCAA in football players get NIL, tuition, room and board, 2 paid trips home per academic year, and $20k per year. $200 per week while in school then a lump payment of $40k upon graduation. Players who don’t graduate or leave early for NFL don’t get final payment. Schedule is like this 12 games 9 division games then playing one school in the other 3 divisions on a rotating basis. Top 2 in each division make 1st round of playoffs at Neutral sites, Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Santa Clara. Then Semi-Finals are at the current Semi-Finals bowls around New Year’s Day with a bid-out Championship game the Monday closest to January 10th. The remaining New Year’s Six bowls choose teams between 1st round losers and 3rd place finishers. Here’s what is could look like. Some times are in to preserve long standing rivalries. All TV on ESPN. The remaining schools either add to FCS or form a new division altogether that would probably get more TV appearances than FCS does. You could probably add/drop a few teams but this is what I came up with

College Football Super League

Central Southeast Southwest West
Ohio St. Georgia Texas Washington
Michigan Alabama Texas A&M Oregon
Penn St. Florida Oklahoma USC
Wisconsin Florida St. LSU UCLA
Iowa Auburn Nebraska Arizona St.
Michigan St. Kentucky Texas Tech Arizona
Notre Dame Tennessee Arkansas Utah
Pittsburgh South Carolina Oklahoma St. Colorado
West Virginia Clemson Mississippi California
Minnesota Miami Mississippi St. Stanford

You could then add 24 more schools that have strong basketball tradition such as Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, most of the current Big East etc and make a 64 team basketball super-league. All 64 teams make the tournament.

Ok go ahead and dissect.

Ok, my previous post isn’t very pretty when I listed the teams so lets try that part again.

Central: Ohio St., Michigan, Penn St., Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan St., Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Minnesota

Southeast: Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Florida St. Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Miami

Southwest: Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Oklahoma St., Mississippi, Mississippi St.

West: Washington, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Arizona St., Arizona, Utah, Colorado, California, Stanford

Your Super League is not based upon athletic revenue generated which would be the only sound financial basis. Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Colorado and California are not top 40 athletic revenue generators. However, Louisville, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, Purdue, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina are. I think you need to rethink your membership.

Spencer, my idea for a football super league is yes based a great deal on revenue. But also as I initially stated some teams were placed in to preserve rivalries and because of previous football accomplishments and tradition. The schools I included for the most part have won at least one legit national championship or have gotten to the point of national prominence that would lead most observers to say that school could win one.

The schools you mentioned have had their football moments but are more basketball schools or not had many top 10 finishes in either sport. This is a super league where just like the idea of the Euro soccer league the best teams compete. The schools I mentioned could up their financial game as well. Its not like I’m suggesting super low schools join this league.