COLLEGE SPORTS

Texas, Oklahoma Leaving Big 12 Early Is Reportedly Building ‘Momentum’

Dec 12, 2022, 10:14 AM
Texas Oklahoma, Big 12, SEC...
Texas/Oklahoma are gaining momentum towards an early from the Big 12 to move to the SEC, per Brett McMurphy. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12’s bell cow brands in Texas and Oklahoma could leave for the SEC earlier than expected. Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reports on Monday that there is “momentum” for the Longhorns and Sooners to join the SEC in 2024.

Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC in 2024 would mean they exit the Big 12 one year early from their current Grant of Rights contract. The current Grant of Rights with the Big 12 expires on June 30, 2025, when the Longhorns and Sooners move to the SEC.

BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston join the Big 12 Conference on July 1, 2023. However, according to McMurphy, “Oklahoma and Texas were never in favor of adding new Big 12 members while they remained in the league, sources said.”

If the Longhorns and Sooners move to the SEC in 2024, that would mean the four new members would only have one year with Texas and OU. The 2023-24 academic year will consist of 14 teams in the Big 12 Conference.

New Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has stated in the past he is not against having negotiations that would allow Texas and Oklahoma to leave the conference early. But he has stayed consistent that it has to be in the best interest of the conference.

How much longer will Texas & Oklahoma be in the Big 12?

The timing of this report is interesting as it coincides with a potential release of the 2023 Big 12 football schedule sometime this month. Could we see Texas and Oklahoma making trips to Provo, Cincinnati, Houston, or Orlando? We will see soon enough.

There’s also the element that remaining Big 12 programs would likely want to get one more crack at the Longhorns and Sooners if 2023 is, in fact, the final year with them in the league.

The potential 2024 exit has always made a lot of sense. For the SEC, 2024 signals the beginning of a new exclusive media rights partnership with ESPN.

There have been reports earlier this year that Fox, a Big 12 media rights partner along with ESPN, has been blocking the early exit of Texas and OU.

A move to the SEC in 2024 for Texas and Oklahoma would also line up with the new 12-team College Football Playoff. For the Big 12 Conference, Texas and Oklahoma moving on would allow the league to focus on its new branding and begin the 12-team Playoff era with its long-term membership.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Texas, Oklahoma Leaving Big 12 Early Is Reportedly Building ‘Momentum’