Money reportedly ‘won’t influence’ when Texas leaves for SEC

SEC, Texas Football [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days
SEC, Texas Football [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days /

The conversation surrounding the move for Texas football and the Oklahoma Sooners to leave the Big 12 for the SEC will continue to happen this offseason. While Texas and Oklahoma won’t be officially leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in 2022, there could be a more realistic timeline that does emerge throughout this calendar year.

And it looks like there are already some moving pieces impacting when the Longhorns and Sooners could officially make the move to join the SEC. According to a report from Horns247 on Feb. 24 (paid content), 2024 is starting to emerge as a potential realistic target date for Texas and Oklahoma to officially join the SEC.

But it seems like that prediction of Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC in 2024 still involves a good bit of speculation.

Moreover, one of the bigger topics of debate right now concerning the financial implications of Texas leaving the Big 12 for the SEC is the cost of the Longhorn Network. By the time the 2024-25 college sports year arrives, Texas will still be due a reported $150 million roughly from their deal with ESPN/ABC for the Longhorn Network.

That plays into the fact that Texas and Oklahoma are likely still going to owe the Big 12 around $80 million each to leave early for the SEC. But it sounds like “money won’t influence” the decision for Texas to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The same reportedly might not be able to be said for Oklahoma, though.

Money reportedly isn’t a huge hold-up for Texas football in their move to the SEC

It will be interesting to see how all of this money, in the hundreds of millions of dollars, could impact both the conferences and the schools as Texas and Oklahoma look to time the transition right to move to the SEC. For now, though, it appears that Texas could be emerging in a more secure position financially than Oklahoma from reports we’ve heard thus far.

A report from the Dallas Morning News last week also details how this risk of paying out the Big 12 is still likely going to bring Texas and Oklahoma more than enough financial gains to absorb the loss in a very short span of time.

A big domino to fall in this entire process has to do with ESPN assuming the football broadcasting rights from CBS ahead of the start of the 2024 season. That could be a major reason why Texas is looking at 2024 as a potential target year to officially leave the Big 12 for the SEC.

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Texas and Oklahoma are going to be playing in the Big 12 at least through the end of the 2023-24 college sports seasons, in all likelihood. But it sounds like the possibility of leaving before the fall of 2024 could become a reality in the next 8-12 months, depending on how the financial side of things plays out for the two schools and conferences.

This is something that will continue to be a hot topic of debate around the SEC, and one that will continue to be heavily scrutinized by many others around college sports.