Texas and Oklahoma could switch to SEC officials in a few weeks, ESPN has confirmed.
The Austin American-Statesman reported Friday that a Big 12 source believed talks between the SEC and the two schools had been going on for more than six months, even though SEC member Texas A&M had been excluded from the discussions. An SEC source told ESPN’s Heather Dinich that it was inaccurate that A&M was excluded from the conversation.
The report also states that the move could become official in a few weeks. A senior administrator said his understanding of the situation reflects this schedule.
A Big 12 source told Dinich that neither Texas nor Oklahoma have officially announced their desire to leave the rest of the conference members.
ESPN reported Thursday that both Texas and Oklahoma would likely owe the Big 12 more than $ 76 million apiece to buy out the remainder of their media rights agreement, which runs until 2025. However, a new agreement with the SEC would likely make this price tag for the two powerhouses easily affordable.
Big 12 officials held a call Thursday to discuss the future of the league, with Texas and Oklahoma not participating in the discussion. The two schools would also have to give the Big 12 18 months’ notice before they officially leave.
A Texas A&M Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:00 pm ET that will include “Discussions and Possible Actions on Contractual and Governance Issues Associated with Texas A&M University and the Southeastern Conference.”
The SEC’s sports directors are expected to hold a conference call on Monday as their meeting originally scheduled for last Wednesday was postponed due to media days.
If the schools move to the SEC becomes a reality, the impact on the rest of college football would be massive, and the administrator believes the larger impact could hurt the sport significantly.
Several ACC sporting directors believed their league would make a push over the next several years to add both Texas and Oklahoma – along with Notre Dame, who is already a partial ACC member – to restructure their TV deal, but the Der The Longhorns and Sooners’ sudden move to the SEC surprised them.
One ACC AD wondered if this could be the first domino to cause a massive shake that would ultimately result in a 32-team super conference. Two other ADs suggested that the best path for ACC, Pac-12, and others might be to work together on a new media rights package that could help counter the oversized strength of a 16-team SEC, with one AD also saying that he believed that what would be left of the Big 12 has minimal value.