SEC Football: Why Texas and Oklahoma don’t need to rush joining the SEC

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

Based on current plans, regular-season SEC football will not begin for the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners until the 2025 season. When the move was announced last summer, there were predictions that one or both of the programs would buy their way out of Big 12 deals to join the SEC sooner.

Currently, those mega-million dollar buyouts are off the table. Both programs should be thankful. The Sooners and the Longhorns have proud football programs that are tritely but correctly said to be steeped in history. Very few involved in either program are likely to view moving to the SEC as a stretch too big for their teams.

Not only might they be wrong, there is also a good chance they are wrong. The SEC is a different football animal. It is one that swallows foes with frequent ease and whose elite teams in any season are close to being unbeatable.

The Longhorns and the Sooners can remember glory years. They can believe they are on the threshold of new ones. No SEC wins will come from either memories or beliefs. Currently, the best of the pair, the Oklahoma Sooners have not had an undefeated season or a National Championship since 2000. Since winning a National Championship in 2005, Texas has won just 61.3% of its games. In Steve Sarkisian’s first season, the Horns limped to a 5-7 record.

Neither team made the Big 12 Championship game last season. The preseason favorite tabbed by many to be the 2022 Big 12 Champion is the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Big 12 program trending upward the most rapidly is Dave Arenda’s Baylor Bears. The Bears beat the Cowboys for last season’s Big 12 title.

Assuming the SEC aligns new 8-team divisions in 2025, based on geography, the Horns and the Sooners may be in big trouble. Every season could be a struggle to finish in the top half of the SEC West.

SEC Football Benefits

The SEC-driven dollars will be larger than the Big 12 payoffs. That alone could be enough to justify making the move to a tougher competitive environment. The recruiting pull of the SEC for elite athletes is undeniable.

The question for Texas and Oklahoma coaches is whether the dollars and the recruiting sizzle can compensate for getting bloodied season after season by Alabama and maybe Texas A&M and LSU.

It is only a guess, but maybe Lincoln Riley saw such a future and made one of college football’s smartest moves in many years.

Note: Team records were retrieved from

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Acknowledgment goes to Pete Futiak of College Football News. Reading his words on this subject triggered my own thoughts and ideas. Use the link to check out his good piece.