The news that set the college football world on fire last week is now official. Both Texas and Oklahoma have notified the Big 12 that they intend to leave, and now they’ve officially requested to join the SEC, which should be accepted without a hitch.
The news today was confirmed by the SEC, and the following statement was released by commissioner Greg Sankey.
Most notable here is the date given in the statement, which states that Texas and Oklahoma wouldn’t join until 2025.
“While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses,” Sankey said.
“The Presidents and Chancellors of the SEC, in their capacity as the conference’s Chief Executive Officers, will consider these requests in the near future. Per the Bylaws of the SEC, a vote of at least three-fourths of the SEC’s 14 members is required to extend an invitation for membership.”
The SEC most recently added Texas A&M and Missouri, but the process didn’t take as long to complete. After the news broke in 2011, both schools were competing the the SEC by the fall of 2012. So while 2025 is the official target date, that’s probably more for legal purposes. If I had to bet, Texas and Oklahoma will be SEC bound by this time next year, or at the latest in 2023.
The move gives the SEC 16 teams, likely forcing a change in division structure. 4-team pods have already been floated around as a solution, for example. New rivalries will be born, new traditions, and old ones too, will come to life.
Now the question becomes this — what happens to the Big 12? The two leaders have now bolted for the mighty SEC, leaving the Big 12’s future in limbo. Will they make a play to add from the likes of Cincinnati, Memphis or UCF? Or will they close up shop and dissolve into the Pac-12 or Big Ten? The impact of this move is massive and will change the entire college football landscape, likely just in time to expand to a 12-team playoff.
Stay tuned for more details in the coming hours, days and weeks. Things are about to get even more wild.