Texas, Oklahoma to Leave Big 12 Early for SEC in 2024
Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel.
Texas and Oklahoma will leave the Big 12 after this season and join the SEC a year early in 2024 after an agreement was reached between the schools, the Big 12 and their media partners, ESPN and FOX.
Instead of Texas and OU paying an exit fee — which was expected to be about $50 million each — the Big 12 allowed OU and Texas to leave early by forgoing $100 million of revenue distribution. FOX will receive $20 million of that revenue distribution to offset not getting any future Texas or Oklahoma games after 2023, sources told Action Network.
The remaining $80 million of the revenue distribution will be divided by the eight remaining Big 12 schools ($10 million each).
This allows the Big 12’s remaining members to be “made whole,” despite the early exit by the Sooners and Longhorns, sources said.
Also, in their first year in the SEC in 2024-25, Oklahoma and Texas will not receive a full share from the SEC and actually will receive less than the $40 million they would have received if they remained the final year in the Big 12, sources said.
With this season being the final year for Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12, it also will mark the final conference game between OU and Oklahoma State. The Bedlam Series began in 1904 and has been played annually for the past 112 years, but both schools’ athletic directors told Action Network in September the series will end when OU leaves for the SEC.
The final Bedlam Series meeting between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will take place Nov. 4 in Stillwater. The final Big 12 conference games for both Oklahoma and Texas will be at home on Friday, Nov. 24: OU hosts TCU, and Texas hosts Texas Tech.
In December, Action Network first reported the “growing sentiment” and “momentum” for OU and Texas to leave the Big 12 for the SEC a year early.
Then, on Jan. 7, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, speaking at the College Football Playoff in Los Angeles, said if the desire was there for OU and Texas to leave early and it worked for all the stakeholders, then he would have the discussion.
The discussions about OU and Texas departing early have been ongoing for several months, and Yormark’s persistence was a big reason the agreement was reached, sources said. The agreement allows the Sooners and Longhorns to exit the Big 12 before the league’s Grant of Rights expires July 1, 2025.
“As I have consistently stated, the Conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” Yormark said. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning. I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process, and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”
The Big 12 had established a deadline in mid-January to get a deal done with Oklahoma and Texas, but that date was extended by a couple of weeks because all parties were optimistic something could get resolved, sources said.
The upcoming 2023-24 academic year will be the final year for the Sooners and the Longhorns in the Big 12. On July 1, the Big 12 adds BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF and will have 14 members this season. In 2024, its membership will drop to 12 schools.
The addition of OU and Texas will give the SEC 16 teams in 2024 — the first year of the new 12-team College Football Playoff. The Big Ten, which is adding USC and UCLA, also will have 16 teams starting in 2024.
That year, the ACC will have 14 schools, the Big 12 will have 12 and the Pac-12 will have 10 schools unless it replaces USC and UCLA.
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