ATHENS — Texas and Oklahoma made their move to the SEC “officially official” on Friday, less than a week after giving the Big 12 formal notice of their intent not to renew their media contract after June of 2025.
There has been plenty of speculation the Longhorns and the Sooners might be members of the SEC even sooner if the Big 12 disbands or the schools’ are willing to pay at least $75-$80 million for an early release from their contract.
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There are still more questions than answers as to the particulars of how the transition will work, in terms of scheduling, divisional play and capping conference size.
College Football Hall of Fame and former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he’s not sure why Oklahoma is making the move from the Big 12, where they are the six-time defending champions and have qualified for the College Football Playoffs four of those years.
“I’m sort of surprised by Oklahoma,” Spurrier, the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner, said last week. “I just don’t think they’re going to come over to the SEC and win with any regularity the way that they win the Big 12.
“Their fans might say, ‘Yeah, now we can beat Alabama, LSU and all these dudes.’ It may not happen like that.”
The Sooners beat Florida handily in the Cotton Bowl at the conclusion of the 2020 season. But it was a Gators team playing without first-round picks Kyle Pitts and Kadarious Toney, along with several other players who opted out.
Spurrier said he was more understanding of the Longhorns making the move.
“I can understand Texas jumping over,” Spurrier said. “They get to play Texas A&M again, (and) they can’t win the Big 12 anyway.
“I think they’ve only won two in the last 30 years or so. What is it?”
Texas has won three Big 12 championships since the 1996 season, when Spurrier led Florida to its first football national championship.
The Longhorns are the most recent Big 12 team to play for a national championship, falling to Alabama after the 2009 season.