Southeastern Conference university presidents voted Thursday to invite Texas and Oklahoma to the league and create a 16-team powerhouse on the field and at the bank.
The latest step in move that has potential to help reshape college sports came two days after Texas and Oklahoma requested to join the SEC in 2025. That’s when the schools’ media rights agreement with the Big 12 expires.
SEC leaders voted unanimously to extend an invitation, effective July 1, 2025.
Now the process goes back to the schools. Texas and Oklahoma both have board of regents meetings scheduled for Friday with conference affiliation on the agenda. Whether the boards will move to accept the invitations at those meetings is unknown, but it is almost certain they will at some point.
Then the question becomes: Can Texas and Oklahoma find a way to join their new conference sooner than 2025? It has the makings of being a messy divorce with the Big 12.
The conference bylaws state that schools departing before the grant of rights runs out in 2025 are on the hook for penalties worth tens of millions of dollars.