It's officially official. The SEC has voted, the schools' boards have voted and everything has been rubber stamped through. Texas and Oklahoma are SEC schools.
The only drama that remains now is in regards to when exactly the two schools will begin competing in their new conference. They technically have an obligation to remain in the Big 12 for four more years and for legal purposes, everybody keeps saying that's the plan. But make no mistake, behind the scenes, everyone at the SEC league office and in Austin and Norman are doing everything they can to get out of that and start playing Southeastern Conference football as soon as possible.
But the Big 12 has made it abundantly clear it has no plans of letting Texas and OU leave before their contract is up without a fight.
Big 12 — Today’s SEC announcement reaffirms that these plans have been in the works with ongoing discussions between the parties and television partner for some time. We are disappointed these discussions went as far as they did without notice to, or inclusion of, other Big 12 members. Despite our concerns for the process and for the overall health of college athletics, we will do everything possible to make sure that the student-athletes at both universities enjoy an excellent experience throughout the remaining four years of their participation and competition in the Big 12 Conference.
So a monumental legal battle likely ensues in the coming months and years. If I was to bet on when I think we'll see Oklahoma and Texas play an SEC schedule, I'd say 2023. As much as the Big 12 says it wants to hold the schools' feet to the fire and make them stay when they know they're leaving anyway, I think common sense will prevail a bit sooner and we'll see the Longhorns and Sooners in the SEC before too long.
Regardless of how long it takes for the schools to actually join, it bears repeating how quickly all of this came together — at least publicly. It was only last Wednesday that we heard even a whiff of this being possible and just over a week later, the biggest move in the history of college sports is signed, sealed and delivered.
So whether it's as early as 2022 or as late as 2025, it's now official: Texas and Oklahoma are SEC schools. And this is just the beginning.