The Big 12 will soon turn into a “Group of 5” conference when Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC. However, there is a lot of speculation about when that move will take place. Join me as I jump into a couple of very realistic timelines for the move.
Before the 2021 season started there was buzz that this might be Texas and Oklahoma’s last season in the Big 12. However, as the season marched on we got the sense that they would remain for 2022 and possibly through the 2024 season. I still think that both universities will eventually buy out their tv deals and leave the Big 12 early and here are a couple of reasons why.
In the wise words of Paul Van Der Merwe “Money makes the world go round” and that same phrase is true in college football. This has been one of the main selling points since the SEC move was announced. The SEC has more money than the Big 12 and its not really close. Add Texas and Oklahoma to that conference and you gain even more revenue. This is the main reason why I believe both schools will leave before 2025.
A little over a week ago the SEC announced how much money it would be distributing to the fourteen schools in the conference. That number amounted to $54.6 million dollars per school. On the other hand, the Big 12 distributed $34.5 million dollars per school in 2021. Now I’m no expert, but I’d imagine $20 million is a lot of money even to these massive universities.
With the addition of Texas and Oklahoma that number will only go up. I’d be very comfortable to say that Texas and OU would receive over $60 million their first year in the SEC. That would almost double what they make in the Big 12. It’s not crazy to see why both of these schools are itching to leave early and head to greener pastures.
Now, this one may hit a nerve for some people, but that’s ok. Recruits see the SEC as an almost guaranteed path to being drafted. If you disagree with that I understand, but it’s the truth. Joining the SEC would give both universities a major recruiting bump from coast to coast. There were several recruits in the 2022 cycle that I know would’ve committed to Texas if they were in the SEC.
Texas even had one committed for a short period, but when the news started breaking that the move wasn’t going to happen next year, that specific recruit decided to chase the SEC dream and I don’t blame him one bit. The SEC has proven to be the best path to the NFL year in and year out. That is something that Texas and Oklahoma can’t sell recruits on. This is yet another major selling point as to why Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 early.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There is a 0% chance that Texas and Oklahoma stay in the Big 12 until 2025. It makes no sense for those two schools and if we’re being on honest it makes no sense for the Big 12.
It’s like breaking up with your girlfriend, but you still go eat dinner with her family every evening. It’s awkward and time to move on. The most likely scenario in my mind is that Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC in 2023. The timeline works and by then the Big 12 will have its four new teams to lessen the blow of the money loss.