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Oklahoma and Texas Are Coming to the SEC - What It Means

Oklahoma and Texas let it be known that they would come to the SEC if invited. After Texas A&M expressed their concerns initially, the two schools were soon unanimously invited and accepted rather quickly. We don't know how quickly the move will happen. It could be at any time from 2022 to 2025. Why did this happen, and what does it mean going forward? Let's look at it from a football perspective.

Currently, Oklahoma is the better of the two when it comes to football. They have been winning the conference a lot and are a regular participant to the 4-team playoff for the national championship. They have an unbelievable football history. Bud Wilkinson started the Sooner dynasty and is responsible for the 47 game winning streak that still stands as the record at the highest level of college football. Barry Switzer, lots of Heisman trophy winners and lots of championships! How could it get much better for them? I think it would be even better if Nebraska had not screwed things up by going to the Big Ten. For many, many years the best college football game of the year was Nebraska/Oklahoma. It wasn't Alabama/Auburn or Michigan/Ohio State or even Southern Cal/UCLA. But, the Sooners ended up in the Big 12, and the rest is history.

Texas has been a football power forever. It has only been in the last few years that Texas has fallen on hard times. They have almost as strong of a list of accomplishments and history as Oklahoma has. They have four national championships, over 30 conference championships and high level recruits all over the state of Texas. It seems almost unimaginable that Texas could play a season and lose more than three games. The state of Texas has a lot of Division 1 schools to compete for recruits, but none have the pedigree of the Longhorns. They should be in the top five or six teams in the country in recruiting every single year. The fact is they have not always been. Their fanbase is so impatient that they won't give a coaching staff any appreciable time to get their footing, install their systems and recruit at a super high level. So, Texas fans are not happy.

Still, Oklahoma and Texas basically rule the Big 12, so why want out? The answer is MONEY along with NAME, IMAGE and LIKENESS (NIL) licensing. In terms of money handed out each year by the conferences, Oklahoma and Texas can go from about $34 million apiece to over $60 million apiece. Also, athletes are able to capitalize on their "intellectual property" after a recent Supreme Court ruling. The cream of the crop football schools need competitive marketplaces for their recruits to capitalize on the exposure they would get. Let's say you are Texas and are recruiting a top notch football player who is also considering LSU. The Longhorns of the Big 12 would play Oklahoma (great game). They would also play Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, West Virginia (Excited yet? Me neither!) LSU of the SEC might play Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, etc. If you are that recruit and wanting as many eyeballs as possible to watch you play so that you can make tons of money, who are you going to choose? I don't have to answer that for you! The assumed starting QB for Alabama has racked up $800,000 (and counting) of endorsements, and he hasn't even started a game yet!

Oklahoma will almost certainly not win as many games in the regular season as they are accustomed to winning. Texas will get their 10-gallon hats handed to them rather often, at least at the beginning, but long term, it's the right move. I feel sorry for the the remaining teams in the Big 12. The question will be... Will the move of Oklahoma and Texas start a trend of conferences grabbing schools for their conference or maybe a trend of consolidation of conferences? For example, if you are the ACC, do you stay put or try to add teams like Notre Dame and West Virginia? If you are the Big Ten, do you stand pat or try to pick off some teams from the PAC 12? I don't have the definitive answer to that, but I have a suspicion more moves are on the way.

May God always be your number 1 draft pick!

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