Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy didn't mince words when speaking about Oklahoma and Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, saying that the two rivals "took the money and ran."
"Let's just cut to the chase. They made a choice to financially secure their athletic departments for the next 12 to 15 years," Gundy told Chris Low of ESPN. "People can talk about all the reasons, but that's why they did it, all for the money, and took a lot of history out of this league and a lot of history out of college football with them.
"Now, they're not the first ones to do it. Texas A&M did the same thing when they jumped ship to the SEC [in 2012]."
Texas and Oklahoma will officially leave the Big 12 for the SEC on July 1, 2025, and both schools are bound to take in far more cash thanks to the seemingly bottomless pit of money waiting for SEC institutions, as Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News noted on Feb. 18, 2022:
"The latest staggering number came Feb. 10, when the SEC reported $777.8 million in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year. That translates into $54.6 million for each of the 14 member schools, including Texas A&M. The figure represented a $9.1 million increase over 2019-20, the first fiscal year to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and paves the way for a lot of pricey contract extensions and facility upgrades."
Jabari Young of CNBC reported in July 2021 that Texas and OU had "received about $34 million from the Big 12 over the last year."
Gundy also noted that "some great rivalries and a lot of history" will be lost with Texas and OU leaving, including the infamous "Bedlam" showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
"It's just not going to be feasible," Gundy said in part. "We're scheduled out to 2036, I think, and I'm sure the SEC is going to nine conference games. They'll have to, or the media will kill them."
As far as the Big 12's future goes sans Oklahoma and Texas, Gundy isn't overtly concerned that their exodus will negatively affect the conference.
"The Big 12 is going to be fine, and I'm just giving you my opinion and know people get upset with my opinion, but we were fortunate that the two teams that left did it when they did [last year] and not now," Gundy said.
Gundy also praised the four schools (BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF) who will be joining the Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma now leaving, noting they "can compete at any level."
"They have great television markets in different locations in the country that we didn't have," he said. The SEC and Big Ten are going to be strong, but after that, we're right there."
Gundy is entering his 18th season as the Cowboys' head coach. His team is ranked No. 12 in the preseason Associated Press poll and is slated to begin the year against Central Michigan on Sept. 1.