After accepting an invitation to join the SEC last summer, Texas and Oklahoma have long been expected to leave the Big 12 and formally join their new conference in July of 2025, in time for the 2025 college football season. But it appears that the timeline might be moving up.
Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark told reporters on Wednesday that he is “not against” having negotiations that could allow the Longhorns and the Sooners to leave the Big 12 for the SEC earlier than expected, but that the move would have to be “in the best interest of the conference, obviously.”
With a small group of reporters, new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said "I'm not against" having negotiations that allow Texas/OU to leave for the SEC early. "But it's got to be in the best interest of the conference, obviously."
— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) July 13, 2022
Both Texas and Oklahoma are under contract to stay in the Big 12 conference through the 2024 football season. Negotiations could potentially expedite their move to the SEC and allow them to join the conference a year early, but as Ross Dellenger reports, “the price will be steep.”
The door is cracked open.
Given the new commissioner, many within the SEC believe in the possibility that Texas and Oklahoma can leave a year early – starting in the SEC in 2024 – but the price will be steep. https://t.co/CsjVeJINY9
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) July 13, 2022
Texas and Oklahoma are currently the biggest and most valuable programs in the Big 12. The conference would obviously want to keep them in the Big 12 as long as possible to maximize their revenue. The SEC, however, would want the Longhorns and Sooners to join as soon as possible for the same reason – and to compete with the Big Ten, which will be adding USC and UCLA in 2024.
If Texas and Oklahoma were to switch conferences a year early, they would be joining the SEC the same season that USC and UCLA join the Big Ten. That would make the 2024 season the first year the Big Ten and SEC begin to establish themselves as the megaconferences in college football.