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SEC Accepts Texas, Oklahoma Into Conference

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 7/29/2021 Michael Shapiro

The SEC has extended a membership invitation to Texas and Oklahoma following a conference vote on Thursday.

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The SEC has accepted Texas and Oklahoma into the conference following a vote on Thursday, according to the SEC.

According to Sports illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the invitation—for now—is to allow Texas and Oklahoma to begin play in 2025 after they fulfill their contractual requirements with the Big 12. 

Thursday’s vote comes one week after reports emerged regarding Texas and Oklahoma’s potential exodus from the Big 12. The two schools sent formal applications to the SEC on Tuesday, further accelerating their conference move.

"Today's unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC's longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement. "I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school's membership interest."

The Big 12’s grant of media rights expires after the 2025 season, though Texas and Oklahoma could arrive in the SEC earlier given the state of the Big 12. The conference could dissolve as schools join other leagues, or the Big 12 could add replacement schools for Texas and Oklahoma. 

Thursday marks the second major realignment of the Big 12 over the last decade. Texas A&M and Missouri previously left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2011, while Nebraska went to the Big Ten and Colorado left for the Pac-12. Oklahoma has won 14 of 27 Big 12 football titles, including each of the last six.

The SEC has sent three schools to the College Football Playoff since 2014. Alabama is a three-time champion in the Playoff era, while LSU won the national title in 2019. Oklahoma is the only Big 12 school to reach the College Football Playoff.

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