DALLAS — Updated at 3:49 p.m. Thursday with new information about a BIG 12 meeting.
Multiple sources confirmed to WFAA that the University of Texas and Oklahoma's break from the BIG 12 is imminent, and we now know at least some of the timing involved in their bid to jump to the SEC.
Early next week (Tuesday or Wednesday), both schools will jointly file a letter with the BIG 12 and say they’re not going to renew their media rights.
Then it's up to both schools to go to the SEC to apply for acceptance -- and then it's up to the SEC to decide what it wants to do.
On Thursday, sources confirmed to WFAA there will be a meeting at 5 p.m. Central Time between the BIG 12's presidents and athletics directors.
After Texas and OU tell the BIG 12 they will not renew their media/television rights with the BIG 12, nothing happens until the end of 2025. Both universities will stay and play in the BIG 12. After the end of 2025, they will begin in their new conference (providing they are accepted).
As for why a pair of schools that are clearly at the top of the pecking order would make a move, simply follow the money.
The BIG 12 TV contracts expire in 2025.
A move to the SEC would ensure millions more for each school on an annual basis.
And for the SEC, Texas and OU's 117-year old rivalry would certainly be attractive, and it would also make the SEC the first 16-team mega league, and a model for the future of college football.
Texas and OU will lose money if they stay in the BIG 12.
As a package deal, Texas and OU are more attractive than individually.
Both schools attempted to dismiss earlier reporting on this as a rumor. Insiders say that UT Board Chairman Kevin Eltife has long been concerned about the everchanging landscape of collegiate athletics and has worked with the university administration to position the Texas Longhorns for success in the coming era.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M’s athletics director says they’d like to remain the only Texas team in the SEC.
There are obstacles that could stand in the way.
Could the issue become political and have someone like Gov. Greg Abbott get involved? What’s to happen to the rest of the BIG 12, with schools like TCU, Baylor and Texas Tech?
Those are all answers that could come in short order after Texas and Oklahoma make this stunning move in just six days.