Oklahoma and Texas Announce Intent to Leave Big 12 Conference, Set Sights on SEC
We’re still trying to process the news.
Oklahoma and Texas dropped a proverbial bomb on the world of college football Monday morning.
After last week's rumors, the schools officially notified the Big 12 that they will not renew the league's grant-of-rights agreement when it expires in 2025. Experts say it's a first step toward leaving the conference the Sooners and Longhorns helped found to join the SEC.
"Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference's current media rights agreement," Texas and Oklahoma said in a joint statement. "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."
While the statement seems to imply that schools intend to remain in the Big 12 for the remainder of the agreement, there is speculation that they will dip out early.
No matter when it happens, the coordinated departure would be a huge blow to the Big 12. As CBS Sports points out, Oklahoma is the No. 1 program in the conference, while Texas is the richest athletic program in the nation with an endowment around $32 billion.
As for the fate of the Big 12 and its eight other teams, we'll have to wait and see. But we do know one thing for sure: things are about to get topsy turvy.
Conference changes aren't unheard of in college football. But as ESPN's Bill Connelly puts it, "never in the history of college football conference realignment has there been a potential earthquake the magnitude of Oklahoma and Texas possibly leaving the Big 12 in favor of joining the SEC."
This story is developing.