Oklahoma, Texas Get Formal Invitations to Join The Powerful SEC

The mighty Southeastern Conference held a vote of its presidents and chancellors on Thursday, and they unanimously approved an item to extend a formal invitation to both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

Oklahoma and Texas, the last two teams from the Big 12 Conference to win national titles in football, would begin sports in the SEC for the 2025-26 academic school year, the SEC said in a tweet.

NEWS | The @SEC Presidents & Chancellors voted unanimously Thursday to extend membership invitations to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas to join the SEC effective July 1, 2025, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2025-26 academic year.

— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) July 29, 2021
Texas and Oklahoma to SEC
CeeDee Lamb #2 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs for a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the third quarter during the 2019 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 12, 2019 in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

If the two biggest names from the Big 12 bolt and accept the invitation, then the SEC would become the first super conference of 16 teams among the Power 5 conferences, probably creating a domino effect of the ACC, Big Ten and Pac 12 expanding to 16 teams apiece, and likely the Big 12 dissolving into history.

Oklahoma last won the football national championship in 2000 and Texas last won it in 2005. Although each school has made it back to the title game, neither has held the championship trophy more than once this century.

The SEC is the premier conference in college football, winning 12 national titles this century. Since the Longhorns' title, the SEC won seven straight national titles and 11 of the last 15, including the last two (LSU 2019, Alabama 2020). LSU also won the title in 2003, beating Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

News first broke last week by the Houston Chronicle during the SEC Media Days in Birmingham, Alabama. The news was from an inside, anonymous source. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey downplayed the news, calling it speculation from "unnamed people."

"I'm not going to comment on speculation," Sankey said.

In that same Chronicle report, a Texas spokesperson said, "Speculation always swirls around collegiate athletics. We will not address rumors or speculation."

Now, eight days later and with hundreds of sports reports between national and regional outlets, the SEC has approved a measure to invite the Big 12's two most-storied programs to join the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and, of course, Texas A&M, the old nemesis of both Texas and OU during the Big 12.

Texas A&M and Missouri left the Big 12 after the 2011-12 academic year to join the SEC.

During that first year, A&M had a new coach in Kevin Sumlin and new quarterback in redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel. The Aggies went to Alabama and knocked off the defending champion, and Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

What does this mean for the college football landscape and the Big 12? Other conferences are probably already looking at the remaining eight teams in the Big 12 (they only had 10 teams). West Virginia would be a good fit for the ACC, which would renew rivalries with Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

Texas Tech and Oklahoma State could potentially join former conference foe Colorado in the Pac 12. Baylor, the reigning men's basketball champion, could perhaps land in the American Athletic Conference, as could basketball powerhouse Kansas.