Is the SEC Becoming a Super Conference Earlier Than Expected?
Texas and Oklahoma announced their decision to join the Southeastern Conference in July of 2021, which ultimately led to discussions about the future of the Power Five conferences and sparked the decision for UCLA and USC to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 10.
The original plan was to move the two teams into the SEC by July 1, 2025, however the change might be coming sooner than expected.
It was reported on Wednesday that the Big 12 is currently in talks with ESPN and FOX about new contract deals for the conference. According to some reports, that could include talks to move the two teams sooner than expected.
Although these are still just reports and rumors, they have some traction. With two of the biggest teams in the conference leave, there is a level of concern for the revenue, audience, and relevancy.
Plus, if a multi-media company wants to invest in a conference, they would not want to shell out big bucks for a conference who is about to lose two big sources of ratings.
With the anticipation of moving teams and rapid changes in the current era of college football, it would not be surprising to see this change come in the next two or so years.
ESPN did shoot down all current talks with the Big 12 with a statement to the Big 12 hotline.
“We regularly engage in conversation around the future with all of our partners, but to be clear, we have not opened the contractual negotiation window with the Big 12 at this time," said ESPN.
According to Brett McMurphy of Action Network, discussions could start as early as next week.
The Big 12's current television deal is slated to end after the 2024-25 season.