Barring a dramatic change of direction, Texas and Oklahoma are moving toward taking the Red River Rivalry to the Southeastern Conference in a seismic shift that will have repercussions in college sports from coast to coast.
According to multiple reports, the first and very significant formal step of the process could come as soon as Monday with the two schools informing the Big 12 they will not renew the contractual agreement that binds conference members until 2025.
After that, lawyers can take over. An early departure by Texas and Oklahoma could cost the schools more than $100 million combined to get out of that grant of rights.
But a pot of gold awaits in the SEC and having the Longhorns and Sooners linger as lame ducks doesn’t have much upside for the Big 12.
There is a good chance that come kickoff of the 2022 college football season, Texas and Oklahoma will be in the Southeastern Conference.
IT JUST MEANS MORE MONEY
The SEC signed a new $300 million deal with ESPN last year that gives the network rights to all SEC football games starting in 2024 and is expected to bump the conference’s annual distribution to its members to about $68 million.
The Big 12 distributed $34.5 million per school recently, down over the previous year because of the pandemic.