HOOVER, Ala. — It’s no longer a rumor. The SEC may be set to pick up two of college football’s blue bloods in a new round of conference realignment.
The University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma informed the Big XII they would not extend their media grant of rights past 2025, opening the door for both to leave the conference, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News. The two schools said they would continue to honor their existing grant of rights agreements through 2025.
With both now informing the Big XII of their plans to leave, both the Longhorns and Sooners are ready to cash in on an expected invite to the Southeastern Conference. For the SEC to extend an invitation to Texas and OU, 11 of the current 14 members of the SEC will have to approve. However, with UT and OU making their move public, the chances of anyone besides Texas A&M standing is likely zero.
Once added, the SEC will further cement itself as the most powerful conference in all of college football and become the first 16-team super-conference in modern college football history. The result will be tens of millions of dollars for all of the schools. The SEC currently gives out more than $40 million per school and adding Texas and OU should bump that number to more than $60 million per school based on some estimates.
The question for the SEC becomes how the conference will be split as it adds Texas and Oklahoma. It could have four pods of four teams or two divisions of eight teams. Regardless, the level of competition for all the SEC schools will be stepped up in a big way.
While the SEC will thrive, the Big XII is on life support once again after nearly collapsing in the last round of college football realignment. In 2012, the Big XII lost Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC and lost Nebraska to the Big Ten. The conference added TCU and West Virginia to stave off collapse, but now the league will lose it’s two most powerful and richest members in Texas and OU.
The Big XII now faces the choice of raiding a Group of Rive conference like Conference USA for more members, or perhaps collapsing into a group of five conference itself.
But one thing is known, with the loss of Texas and OU, the Big XII is likely no longer a Power Five conference in football.