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Georgia Football

BREAKING: Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners Officially Join SEC

July 31, 2021

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It just means two more teams. It’s finally official. The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners have officially entered the SEC. Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs will now have to deal with a new 16-team SEC. The details of how the league will move forward in terms of divisions, pods or playing rotations has not been formalized.

On July 26, Texas and Oklahoma issued a joint statement notifying the Big 12 that they will not renew their grants of media rights following its expiration in 2025. The move essentially served as unofficial from those two to the Big 12 that they were leaving the conference - even though both said they were ready to fulfill their obligation to the Big 12 and its media partners for the next four seasons. It remains to be seen if the Big 12 will survive until that time. The SEC’s new contract with Disney will start with the 2024 football season. 

On Thursday the SEC moved forward with an invitation for both the Sooners and Longhorns

“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.  “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.”

"The Presidents and Chancellors of the Southeastern Conference are pleased to welcome the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas," Jere Morehead, President of the University of Georgia and current President of the SEC said in a statement. "Both universities are prestigious academic institutions with strong athletics programs similar in tradition, culture and success to our current member universities. We look forward to a productive and successful future together beginning in 2025."

Much discussion leading up to the vote centered around how Texas A&M would vote. A week ago the Aggies made their feelings known publicly - they wished to be the only program from the Lone Star State in the league. But a week later, A&M's Board of Regents voted 8-1 in favor of the move of their longtime rivals Texas, and its rival Oklahoma into the SEC. 

"Although the Board had concerns about the communication process relating to this matter, today the Board received the information it needed to properly consider the long-term ramifications of possible expansion," A&M's Board of Regents said in a prepared statement. "The Board concluded that this expansion would enhance the long-term value of the SEC to student-athletes and all of the institutions they represent - including Texas A&M."

UT and OU’s move comes as no surprise as Dawg Post was one of a skew of outlets to report about the possibly of the two entering the SEC. 

Rumors swirled during 2021 SEC Media Days that the two programs were on the move, and today it’s been made official. 

"This is an important moment for the long-term future of the Southeastern Conference and our member universities," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. "Oklahoma and Texas are outstanding academic institutions with two strong athletics programs, which will add to the SEC's national prominence. Their additions will further enhance the already rich academic, athletic and cultural legacies that have been cultivated throughout the years by our existing 14 members. We look forward to the Sooners and Longhorns competing in our Conference starting in the 2025-26 academic year." 

"The Southeastern Conference's dedication to the success of our member institutions and our members' commitment to one another - has produced a sustained level of excellence unrivaled throughout college sports," Sankey added. "It is the unity and collaboration of our institutions that makes the SEC special, and Wednesday's decision of the Texas A&M Board of Regents to approve a vote supportive of Conference membership for their long-time in-state rival is an example of the overall culture of this Conference. I appreciate the opportunity for our Conference to move forward with a spirit of unanimity."

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