It’s all but a done deal. Oklahoma football is picking up its ball and officially moving to the SEC.
The rich just got richer. On Thursday afternoon, the SEC presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to extend invitations to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the SEC.
A whirlwind week of bombshell news reporting on Oklahoma and Texas’ decision to pick up and leave the Big 12 for the greener pastures of the Southeaster Conference has now cleared the next to the last hurdle in the process.
For all intents and purposes, what’s left is purely academic. The regents of the two universities must approve the move, and that is expected to happen as early as Friday morning.
The only thing left after that is the decision on when the two schools will formally leave the Big 12, and what happens to the Big 12 afterwards as well as the futures of the remaining eight teams.
Unquestionably, this is a giant development in the college football world and the ramifications are expected to create a seismic sea of change throughout college football. Are we moving toward what will eventually end up as two or three superconferences, or maybe just two superconferences of 16 teams each?
Fans of Oklahoma and Texas are largely pleased with how all of this worked out. Fans of the remainder of the Big 12 teams and fans of other conferences not so much.
Both OU and Texas have said they are willing to stay in place until the Big 12 grant of rights agreement expires in June of 2025.
Because of how fast this process has moved through the procedural wickets in the last seven days, however, after news of the potential split first surfaced leads me to believe — as it has many others in the know — that the departure will happen Sooner than expected.
Once the move is officially signed off on by all the interested parties, it’s hard to imagine either Oklahoma or Texas sticking around in the Big 12 for four more years. Plus, if the other schools in the meantime strike similar agreements with other conferences, I can’t see the Big 12 staying together. And without a conference, the buyout penalty would seemingly become irrelevant.
Much more still to come, but for now, two of the founding members of the Big 12 are set to part ways. And for the Sooners have been part of the same conference (in its multiple iterations) for going on 103 years.