Moves by Texas, Oklahoma from Big 12 to SEC bumped to 2024

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas and Oklahoma are heading to the Southeastern Conference in 2024, a year earlier than originally planned, after Big 12 officials cleared the way Thursday for the storied programs to exit their league.

Texas and Oklahoma will leave behind the $50 million each school would have received over the next two seasons under the Big 12’s media contracts.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormak said the league would only agree to an early departure “if it was in our best interest.”

“By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning,” Yormak said in a statement announcing the agreement.

BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston are joining the Big 12 prior to the 2023 football season, giving the league a temporary membership of 14 schools.

The agreement must still be approved the Texas and Oklahoma boards of regents, but that is considered a formality.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement that the schools will become full members of the conference on July 1, 2024.

“We are continuing our preparation for this membership transition, and we look forward to welcoming the conference’s new members and moving into our future as a 16-team league,” Sankey said.

The moves by Texas and Oklahoma have been in the works since 2021, when the SEC invited the Big 12’s marquee programs to join what is already the strongest football conference in the country.

Oklahoma and Texas have combined for 10 national championships as determined by The Associated Press, but none since the Longhorns’ 2005 season championship. TCU, which made it the College Football Playoff championship game last season, joined Oklahoma as the only Big 12 teams to make the playoff.

Big 12 officials were initially stunned by the departure. Former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby even accused ESPN of trying to “destabilize” the league to help Texas and Oklahoma leave early.

Thursday’s announcement was much more cordial. Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, who is also the chairman of the Big 12 Board of Directors, called the agreement “fair to all parties,” and said it could not have happened without collaboration with the league’s broadcast partners ESPN and Fox.

Money has been a driving factor in the shifting landscape of college athletics realignment. The SEC reported a revenue distribution of $49.9 million per school for the 2021-2022 school year, exceeding by more than $7 million what the Big 12 distributed to its members for the same period.

Adding Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC’s broadcast portfolio is expected to only increase the league’s payout. They will land in their new league just in time for a new $3 billion deal with ESPN that gives the network the broadcast rights to all the conference’s football games.

The additions of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will boost the Big 12’s national footprint and push the league into new media markets.

Texas and Oklahoma haven’t already left for the SEC because both schools have been tied to the Big 12 and its other members through a grant of media rights through the 2024-25 school year. That deal ran concurrently with the conference’s television contracts with Fox and ESPN.

“We have always been committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to the Big 12. The collegiate athletics landscape has continued to evolve rapidly, and working together to accelerate our exit produced benefits for all parties,” Texas President Jay Hartzell said. “The Big 12 has been a respected partner for nearly three decades, and we look forward to a final season of spirited competition with our friends and rivals.”

Oklahoma hires Jones as WR coach, passing game coordinator

Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

NORMAN, Okla. – Oklahoma has hired Emmett Jones as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, the school announced Tuesday.

Jones held the same positions at Texas Tech this past season. The Red Raiders beat Oklahoma 51-48 in overtime on Nov. 26 after rolling up 599 yards of offense, including 436 yards passing. Texas Tech led the Big 12 and ranked 12th nationally in passing offense (302.0 yards per game) and 13th nationally in yards passing (3,926).

Before his season at Texas Tech, Jones was wide receivers coach at Kansas for three years and was passing game coordinator his final two years there. He was Kansas’ interim coach in the spring of 2021 before coach Lance Leipold was hired.

Jones fills the receivers coach role vacated when Cale Gundy stepped down in August. Gundy had been with the program as an assistant since 1999, but the school said he uttered a racially charged word multiple times during a film session.

Offensive analyst L'Damian Washington had been interim receivers coach. Oklahoma coach Brent Venables has said he’d like to keep Washington on the staff.

Travis, No. 13 Florida State beat Oklahoma in Cheez-It Bowl

cheez it bowl
Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jordan Travis threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns and No. 13 Florida State beat Oklahoma 35-32 on Thursday night in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Johnny Wilson made a one-handed grab for a 58-yard gain to set up Ryan Fitzgerald’s 32-yard field goal with 55 seconds left. The Seminoles (10-3) held on, sacking quarterback Dillon Gabriel on the Sooners’ comeback bid.

Jovante Barnes tied it at 32 for Oklahoma (6-7) with 3:37 left on a 12-yard run. That was after Travis fired a 17-yard pass to tight end Markeston Douglas in the end zone to put the Seminoles up 32-25 midway through the fourth. The Seminoles had gotten the ball off an Oklahoma fumble.

Treshaun Ward‘s 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the third quarter gave the Seminoles an 18-17 lead – their first advantage since leading 3-0 in the opening quarter. Travis converted two third downs to guide Florida’s State 94 yards on the 15-play drive.

The Sooners went up 25-18 with 13:22 left on 25-yard run by freshman Gavin Sawchuk and a successful 2-point conversion.

Florida State needed just two minutes to go 75 yards to tie it at 25, with Ward taking the ball 38 yards into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.

Florida State won its first bowl since the 2017 season, and its first under coach Mike Norvell.

Travis, who has already announced his intention to return to the team for the 2023 season, became the 11th player in program history to pass for 3,000-plus yards in a season.

Treshaun Ward had 81 yards on 10 carries for Florida State, and Wilson had a season-high 202 yards on eight catches.

The Seminoles won their final five games of the regular season, scoring at least 38 points in all of them. Florida State was 5-3 in conference play with its first winning season since 2017, which also was Jimbo Fisher‘s last year coaching the team before taking the head coaching job at Texas A&M.

Oklahoma, making its 24th straight bowl appearance, lost its first bowl game since the 2019 season.

It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season for the storied program that is looking to establish its post-Lincoln Riley identity after he took Southern California’s coaching job after last season.

Oklahoma won its first three games but lost three of its final four, missing the Big 12 title game for the second straight season.

Gabriel, a transfer from UCF, completed 14 of 24 passes for 243 yards and one TD. He also had a rushing score in the second quarter.


Florida State: The Seminoles were successful in getting pressure on Brooks in passing situations, recording six sacks.

Oklahoma: Despite missing four starting offensive linemen, the Sooners had 253 total yards of rushing.