Texas, Oklahoma formally request SEC membership beginning in 2025 after announcing Big 12 departure

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas
Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma and Texas have taken the necessary step toward joining the SEC and forming college football‘s first superconference. On Tuesday, the two schools filed a joint letter formally requesting admission to the conference beginning on July 1, 2025. 

“The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma sent the request below to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey this morning,” the statement reads. “The joint request seeks an invitation for membership in the SEC starting on July 1, 2025. The two universities look forward to the prospect of discussions regarding the matter.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released his own statement acknowledging the letter, but noted officially that the conference has “not proactively sought new members.” Still, the transition seems imminent. Conference presidents and chancellors have reportedly scheduled a meeting for Thursday to discuss adding the two blue-bloods. A three-fourth’s majority vote — equal to 11 of the conference’s 14 members — must approve expansion in order to add teams. 

“The University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, two esteemed academic institutions with storied athletics programs, today submitted formal requests for invitations to become members of the Southeastern Conference in 2025,” Sankey said. “While the SEC has not proactively sought new members, we will pursue significant change when there is a clear consensus among our members that such actions will further enrich the experiences of our student-athletes and lead to greater academic and athletic achievement across our campuses.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby issued a statement Tuesday afternoon about the two schools requesting admission to the SEC.

“The Big 12 Conference has learned that the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas have submitted formal requests to the SEC to be considered for membership beginning with the 2025-26 athletic year,” he said. “The events of recent days have verified that the two schools have been contemplating and planning for this transition for months and this formal application is the culmination of those processes. We are unwavering in the belief that the Big 12 provides an outstanding platform for its members’ athletic and academic success. We will face the challenges head-on, and have confidence that the Big 12 will continue to be a vibrant and successful entity in the near term and into the foreseeable future.”

Oklahoma and Texas issued a joint statement on Monday announcing they will not renew their grant of rights agreement with the Big 12, which expires in 2025. That marked the first step in their likely transition to the SEC. While the two schools did say they would honor the remainder of their agreement, that could be legal posturing and not an actual timeline for their departure. 

If Texas and Oklahoma were to leave the Big 12 early — perhaps as soon as next year — they each could owe up to $80 million in revenue distribution as a penalty for leaving before the TV rights contract expires.