Why Oklahoma and Texas Want to Join the SEC

Normally at SEC Media Days, the coaches and players are the headliners and newsmakers. But not this year. Some outsiders from the Big 12 made some news of their own.

The Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns reportedly want out of the Big 12 and have approached the SEC about joining the conference.

If the Sooners and Longhorns join the SEC, where does that leave the Big 12?

Texas A&M not happy about potential move

For years, it has seemed like several conferences might merge to become one super conference, and reports from the Houston Chronicle indicate that both schools may be ready to take that leap.

That almost happened a few years ago when the SEC added two more teams: Missouri and Texas A&M.

The move was a godsend for A&M because it was able to establish itself apart from big brother Texas. But now that Oklahoma and Texas want a piece of the pie too, Aggies officials aren’t exactly thrilled about the idea. 

A&M coach Jimbo Fisher had a cryptic message for both the Longhorns and Sooners at SEC Media Days, per the Tampa Bay Times: “Be careful what you ask for if you jump in this league.”

Fisher knows of what he speaks. Though the Aggies won nine games last season and finished second in the West with their only loss coming to Alabama, that still wasn’t enough to get them into the College Football Playoff.

Sometimes the SEC name isn’t enough to get you into the College Football Playoff, as the Aggies found out.

The real reason the Aggies and Longhorns want to join the SEC

Texas and Oklahoma officials aren’t stupid. They have seen what joining the SEC has done for Missouri and Texas A&M. It has generated more money and more opportunities for the schools.

Per The Athletic, the SEC and its member schools divided up $657.7 million in revenue last season during the COVID-19 pandemic when stadiums and arenas around the league were mostly empty.

Imagine bringing Oklahoma and Texas into the fold. That would mean even more exposure, more money, and a better opportunity to get into the College Football Playoff for both schools.

So far, the Sooners are the only school to have made the College Football Playoff out of the Big 12. OU and Texas both know that joining the SEC may increase their chances of getting into the playoffs.

But as Fisher alluded, it won’t be an easy road for either team if they make this move.

What happens to the Big 12?

Texas Longhorns versus Oklahoma in the Red River Rivarly| Patrick Green/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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If this move takes place, it could be a disaster for the Big 12 and would have a domino effect on the rest of the Power 5 conferences like the Pac-12, ACC, and Big Ten.

Teams would scramble to join other conferences, and some schools may be left out. The Sooners and Longhorns may recognize that staying in a conference like the Big 12 would decrease their chances of making the playoffs, especially when they see a team like A&M barely missing out.

It’s not all about college football. Other sports such as basketball, softball, and baseball would also benefit. However, the conversation regarding such a major move mainly has to do with football.

If Oklahoma and Texas want to remain relevant, this move makes sense. The question is: Will it make sense for the SEC?