If Oklahoma and Texas decide to pay up and leave the Big 12 earlier than expected, the remaining Big 12 schools could be direct beneficiaries, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.
Should the Sooners and Longhorns leave before the 2025 season, the “remaining eight,” or the eight schools that have shared the conference with OU and UT prior to 2023, would split the buyout money that the defecting schools would pay.
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas Tech agreed to share a portion of their media rights distributions from the Big 12’s existing deals with Fox and ESPN to make Big 12 expansion possible with BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF joining the conference in the summer of 2023.
Each school agreed to give up $16 million total ($8 million annually in 2023-24 and 2024-25), approximately 19% of their $42.6 million annual distributions, sources told Dodd. Each of the four new Big 12 members is set to receive $18 million to $19 million annually, approximately 40% of the original yearly distribution. However, in 2025, when the new Big 12 media rights deal begins, each of the four universities will receive full shares ($31.6 million) annually. Big 12 officials believe that the actual figure each school will see is closer to $50 million once March Madness and CFP revenues are added.
CBS Sports previously reported that Oklahoma and Texas’ combined exit fees could total as much as $168 million, but sources told Dodd that those fees would likely be be negotiated down to about 60% to 65% of the original total. That means the buyout money from the Sooners and Longhorns could be almost exactly what each of the remaining eight needs to recoup their financial losses for adding the new four to the conference.
“That money [for the four new schools] has to come from some place so the other members have to take a dilution as a result of it,” former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBS Sports. “That’s the only place to go get the money, but in the end, whatever the conference gets out of OU and Texas in exit fees and makes on the grant of rights will likely go to reimburse the schools. It likely will balance itself out pretty well.”
The reports of Oklahoma and Texas leaving the conference before 2025 are purely speculatory, but there sure is a lot of smoke out there about it. With the Big 12 football schedule for 2023 being delayed until the end of January, there seems to be some holdup about how the Big 12 will handle this ordeal.
It’s been speculated that OU and Texas are doing everything they can behind closed doors to get out of playing the new four schools despite them being locked into the conference in 2023. The biggest roadblock for the two brands is that FOX will need to be compensated for losing them and it was previously reported that the schools play future nonconference games at Big 12 venues.
We will have to wait and see how that ends up playing out, but for now, we remain in the “wait-and-see phase” for future plans.