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Texas and Oklahoma may be bound for the SEC in 2025, but it’s reportedly doubtful that the two powerhouses will be making the move any sooner.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the efforts of Texas and Oklahoma to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC in 2024 have stalled. Thamel reports that it’s now “unlikely” that the two programs will make the leap before the previously scheduled departure date, which would set the schools up to begin play in the SEC in ’25.
Since at least November, Texas and Oklahoma have been engrossed in negotiations with the Big 12 and its TV partners, FOX and ESPN, to leave the Big 12 a year earlier than originally scheduled. The discussions with the TV networks specifically have hit multiple “snags” recently, sources tell Sports Illustrated. That includes negotiations that transpired last week. The situation remains fluid, but the momentum for them leaving a year early, after the 2023–24 academic year, is in doubt.
Reports to the contrary emerged in December with The Athletic quoting an unnamed Big 12 school official as saying that the schools and the conference were “definitely engaged on it,” with another source saying that “it’s likely they are leaving early.” In addition, two Big 12 athletic directors “expressed confidence a deal would be reached,” per The Athletic’s report.
A jump to the SEC in 2024 for Texas and Oklahoma would have conveniently lined up with multiple other changes to the college football landscape, including the SEC’s new media rights deal with ESPN, a College Football Playoff expansion to 12 teams and the Big Ten’s own expansion to 16 teams with the additions of USC and UCLA. However, it seems more likely that the two schools will remain in the Big 12 and fulfill their contractual requirements to the conference before departing for the SEC.