Multiple media reports this morning are confirming what we already knew: The SEC is opening their doors to become a 16-team league, and since the Big 12 only has 10 teams presently, they will become a Big 8 once again after they leave.
Prominent Big 12 source tells the American-Statesman the Texas-OU move to the SEC is almost done. "They've been working on this for a minimum of 6 months, and the A&M leadership was left out of discussions and wasn't told about it." Move could become official in a week.— Kirk Bohls (@kbohls) July 23, 2021
Have confirmed Kirk’s reporting. Still some unknown about the political fallout, but the two sides appear all but settled on moving forward. https://t.co/RP7vH5dlrU— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) July 23, 2021
Texas & Oklahoma officials reached out to SEC in late December/early January, sources close to the schools told @Stadium. “(UT & OU) have been in lockstep the whole time,” source said. “They decided then they were leaving. It was just figuring out where.”— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 23, 2021
So this appears all but settled, and now it’s just the how and when. The Big 12 holds the media rights for both Texas and Oklahoma until the Summer of 2025, but afterwards UT and OU could walk away for free. Considering it’s likely both the conference as well as the Longhorns and Sooners won’t want four years of awkward interactions, a financial settlement for both teams is probably the path forward here.
As for the eight remaining Big 12 teams, they likely look for schools in the American and Mountain West Conferences to form an alliance that will keep the league at a high level, but still significantly behind the ACC, Big 10, Pac-12, and SEC. The downstream effects here will take months, if not years, to shake out.
What we do know is Oklahoma is the favorite to win the Big 12 this season at -180, with Texas +800 at DraftKings Sportsbook to take home the trophy. It might be the last one either team competes for.