As rumors about the SEC moving closer to adding Texas and Oklahoma persist, the Big 12 is reportedly making an effort to keep its two signature programs from jumping ship.
Per Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Big 12 officials are discussing a new financial structure that would increase revenue for Texas and Oklahoma.
According to Dodd, the structure "would grant the Longhorns and Sooners an additional half-share annually (1.5 shares each), bumping their payouts to approximately $56 million per year."
In order to make the revenue balance out, the other schools in the conference would decrease their annual payouts.
Dodd did note the topic came up during a conference call with conference officials and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby on Thursday.
The revenue increase plan was described to Dodd as being preliminary and "from the 50,000-foot level."
The Big 12 currently has a 13-year, $2.6 billion television contract with ESPN and Fox that pays each school around $20 million per year. That total doesn't include revenue earned from bowl games and the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments.
Speculation about the Longhorns and Sooners switching conferences began on Wednesday. Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reported both programs reached out to the SEC and an official announcement could happen “within a couple of weeks.”
Per ESPN's David M. Hale, both schools would likely have to pay the Big 12 "upward of $76 million apiece to buy out the remainder of their grant of media rights agreement, which runs until 2025."
Texas and Oklahoma are two charter members of the Big 12 when the conference began play in 1996. The two programs have combined to win 43 national championships in all sports over the past 25 years.