Texas and Oklahoma are set to become the newest members of the SEC. On Thursday, the conference announced it has officially invited the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners as new members following a unanimous 14-0 vote by the SEC presidents. Both schools will be eligible to join the SEC on July 1, 2025.
In a statement, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said: "Today's unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC's longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas. "I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school's membership interest."
Texas and Oklahoma only needed two-thirds (11 of 14) of the vote to be invited as new members. The interesting thing is Texas A&M voted yes despite being against the move. Both schools come from the Big 12 Conference, and this now means the conference will only have eight schools unless they bring in a couple of programs to take Texas and Oklahoma's place.
"Today's SEC announcement reaffirms that these plans have been in the works with ongoing discussions between the parties and television partner for some time," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We are disappointed these discussions went as far as they did without notice to, or inclusion of, other Big 12 members. Despite our conference for the process and for the overall health of college athletics, we will do everything possible to make sure the student-athletes at both universities enjoy an excellent experience throughout the remaining four years of their participation and competition in the Big 12 Conference."
Even though Texas and Oklahoma can join the SEC in less than four years, they could be part of the conference much sooner. Each school would have to pay $75 million to $80 million to get out of its agreement with the Big 12. Or, as ESPN mentioned, the Big 12 could dissolve before their contract comes to an end.
With Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC, this means there will be a superconference in college football. The SEC will now feature 16 teams and, this means fans will get their share of dream matchups. Games like Alabama vs. Oklahoma or Georgia versus Texas every year can now happen.