Texas, Oklahoma Request to Join SEC in 2025; SEC Reportedly to Discuss Thursday

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2021

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 14:  The SEC logo is displayed on a yard marker during the game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the South Carolina Gamecocks on November 14, 2020, at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, MS.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas and Oklahoma officially requested to join the SEC on Tuesday, with the schools eyeing July 1, 2025, as the target date.

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

Texas and Oklahoma have formally requested an invitation for membership to the SEC, starting on July 1, 2025: <a href="https://t.co/wpVX0jZNTe">pic.twitter.com/wpVX0jZNTe</a>

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement about the request:

Bryan Fischer @BryanDFischer

Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC <a href="https://t.co/T7MgnyGh2f">pic.twitter.com/T7MgnyGh2f</a>

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby also issued a statement on the matter:

Nicole Auerbach @NicoleAuerbach

Statement from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby: <a href="https://t.co/aKPRuLcku4">pic.twitter.com/aKPRuLcku4</a>

According to ESPN's Heather Dinich and Mark Schlabach, SEC presidents and chancellors will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss the logistics of potentially adding Oklahoma and Texas to become a 16-team "superconference."

The meeting will come on the heels of Oklahoma and Texas formally requesting membership beginning in July 2025, when their media-rights agreements with the Big 12 have concluded.

A source told Dinich and Schlabach on Tuesday there's still "a lot of legal work" for the Sooners and Longhorns programs to handle before they could join the SEC, so it's unclear whether a formal vote—which would require approval from 11 of the 14 current members of the conference—will be held during the meeting. 

"There's a lot to do in a short amount of time in order to get to a vote by Thursday," the source told ESPN.

The media-rights agreements may be the biggest sticking point in terms of the timetable for Oklahoma and Texas to make the SEC jump. Leaving before the deals expire in 2025 would cost each school between $75-80 million, per Dinich and Schlabach.

For now, it appears the Sooners and Longhorns will be content playing in the Big 12 until those contracts wrap up. According to ESPN, however, the schools could also "hope that the Big 12 dissolves" before 2025, allowing for an earlier transition.

It's all part of what figures to become a rapidly evolving college sports landscape, with schools making a merry-go-round of moves to ensure they land in their own 16-team conferences to avoid being left out in the cold.

A source told Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle last week fans will see "shifts happen like they've never happened before" starting in three years as programs jockey to avoid falling on the wrong side of the "haves and have-nots in the college sports world."

It's a situation that stems from a variety of factors, including the recent name, image and likeness (NIL) changes, the likely expansion of the College Football Playoff and the immense value of the next round of media rights agreements, per Zwerneman.

So Oklahoma and Texas appear to be getting ahead of the curve by making their intentions of joining the SEC clear.

While it's unknown if the SEC will hold a vote during Thursday's meeting, a source told Dinich it's "believed" there's enough support within the conference for Oklahoma and Texas to join.

Meanwhile, the Big 12 will drop to eight teams if it doesn't replace the Sooners and Longhorns.