ATHENS — Oklahoma and Texas formally submitted requests to join the Southeastern Conference on Tuesday, just one day after notifying the Big 12 they would not be renewing their “grants of media rights.”
The Longhorns and Sooners would be expected to be competitive from the onset, both well-heeled financially and accomplished in several sports. The additional money from an SEC-sized television contract would enable the programs to enhance facilities and pay coaches even more.
Money and added market share are the motivation for the schools’ move and the SEC’s outward willingness to accept the Longhorns and the Sooners.
The state of Texas alone features four of the largest 30 metropolitan areas in the nation. The Austin metro area ranks 27th, making it larger than any immediate SEC team market (Nashville is 40th).
Texas generated the most athletic department revenue in the most recent, pre-pandemic USA Today NCAA financial table, at more than $223 million.
Texas A&M, which along with Missouri left the Big 12 in 2012, was second on the revenue list at $212 million. Other SEC schools ranked in the Top 10 pre-pandemic were: Georgia (No. 5, $174 million), Alabama No. 7, Florida No. 9 and LSU No. 10.
Oklahoma was No. 8 at $163 million.