Texas and Oklahoma just lobbed the ball into the SEC’s side of the court and it’s hard to imagine they won’t add those two schools to the league.
When you look at it, there’s not really a better option out there in the main game of having the most money.
If the Longhorns and Sooners can work together on this, anybody can. In competition and fan bases, those two hate each other as much as any other rivalry in the country.
And they don’t need the SEC to be in the biggest and baddest group in college athletics. The Big Ten and ACC now would snap up either one probably by acclimation.
Commissioner Greg Sankey is still playing politics. He released a statement about the formal application Tuesday morning:
“The University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, two esteemed academic institutions with storied athletics programs, today submitted formal requests for invitations to become members of the Southeastern Conference in 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. 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.”
Uh, Greg, be a little honest here. The only reason he hasn’t jumped on a plane headed to Norman and Austin is because he hasn’t gotten whoever does the talking with ESPN to give him the final number.
Honestly, any enrichment by the athletes will be a fortunate residual. They aren’t going to ESPN or CBS for a pay cut if it will raise the overall grade point by a full point across the league.
Texas and OU are playing a dicey game. The notification to the Big 12 was, simply, they will not be renewing the television deals in 2025. Don’t expect them to be anywhere near what’s going to be left of that league by then.
You can expect to start hearing how much just the now very realistic threat of those two schools leaving the Big 12 is going to affect their broadcast deals but educated guesses are saying it will be nowhere near what’s needed to remain a Power 5 league.
Don’t pay attention to the standard disclaimer in every story about the $80 million exit fee. Ability to pay is not an issue because both UT and OU have folks who can cover that and never blink. They will play a waiting game, though.
Now it’s down to who blinks first. The vote by the SEC will go through.
That vote will probably be 14-0.
And it probably won’t be stopping at 16 teams for long.