The Big 12 Conference announced on Sunday night that it had met with Oklahoma and Texas about their plans to leave for the SEC. The shocking news came down last week that the two schools, who were founding members of the Big 12, were planning to bolt for the Southeastern Conference to form the first 16-team conference at the Power 5 level.
The Big 12’s statement read as follows:
“The Big 12 Conference Executive Committee, consisting of Big 12 Board of Directors chairman and Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec and Baylor University President Linda Livingstone; and commissioner Bob Bowlsby met by video conference Sunday afternoon with University of Oklahoma President Joe Harroz and University of Texas President Jay Hartzell.
‘The meeting was cordial, and the executive committee expressed a willingness to discuss proposals that would strengthen the Conference and be mutually beneficial to OU and UT, as well as other member institutions of the Conference,’ Bowlsby stated. ‘I expect that we will continue our conversations in the days ahead and we look forward to discussing thoughts, ideas and concepts that may be of shared interest and impact.'”
This statement comes one day after it was reported that the Big 12 had discussed on its conference call last Thursday the idea of giving Oklahoma and Texas and larger share of the Big 12 revenues (1.5) to keep them on board. As HCS owner Pete Mundo wrote on Sunday morning, that idea is a worthy one to consider.
Texas and Oklahoma are reportedly planning to tell the conference on Monday that they will not renew their grant of rights agreements with the league, which lasts through the 2024-25 season. But it’s not clear at this point if the two schools want to leave the conference early, which would cost them each north of $70 million.
Regardless, the leaders in the Big 12 are clearly trying to hold on and preserve the conference as it currently exists, which makes sense since unless the other eight teams find a Power conference to land in, there will be a massive loss in revenues for these programs.