The Big 12 executive board met with the Oklahoma and Texas presidents, and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby expressed his desire to keep the conference together.
Less than 15 hours later, a joint statement from Oklahoma and Texas confirmed the week-long rumors: Oklahoma and Texas will be leaving the Big 12 and intend to join the SEC following the conclusion of the grants of media rights in 2025. However, in the statement, the schools made it clear that they intend to follow the existing grant of rights agreement, but will monitor the “evolving collegiate athletics landscape.”
Oklahoma & Texas make it official: they’re leaving conference & expected to apply for SEC membership pic.twitter.com/65h35M18OF
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 26, 2021
It hasn’t been a secret that the two Big 12 powerhouses were angling for a Big 12 exit, but with the swirling rumors over the past week, this is the first official confirmation from the two schools. According to reports, the exits are six months in the making, with the Big 12 completely in the dark.
With the Big 12 now in the loop, it’ll be up to the conference to decide what to do next in regard to filling the open spots in the conference, expanding or letting its member schools search for new conferences — which already appears to be underway.
While Oklahoma and Texas intend to complete the current media deal, their statement points to the schools being open to ways to get around it. One of the next steps for the “Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC” movement will be the SEC vote, which Texas A&M vehemently has argued against.
More information will surely continue to come to light as the scenario evolves, with news likely as early as today.