SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey recently addressed a topic that has had the college football world talking for the last year. During the question and answer portion of Sankey’s SEC Media Days opening press conference on Monday, the SEC Commissioner gave his latest thoughts on the addition of the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma to the SEC.
Q. Do you anticipate maybe Texas and Oklahoma coming in the league early, ahead of time?
GREG SANKEY: That’s not up to me. That’s about the relationship between Oklahoma, Texas and the Big 12. We are focused on the addition being effective July 1st, 2025.
Sankey’s statement at SEC Media Days on Monday does fall in line with another statement that was previously made in June by ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro.
During an interview with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch back in June, Pitaro spoke about the addition of Texas and Oklahoma happening in 2025.
“Once Texas and Oklahoma are in, we will have 16 out-of-conference games, one per team,” Pitaro said in the interview via Heartland College Sports. “Well, with Texas and Oklahoma it will be in 2025, so in 2024 it will be 14 (games).”
While there are still a number of variables that could speed up that timeline, it does make for an interesting situation in the Big 12. UCF, Houston, and Cincinnati have all agreed to join the Big 12 conference during the summer of 2023.
After his answer about Texas and Oklahoma during the press conference on Monday, SEC Commissioner Sankey then spoke about what it will mean to add those teams to the Southeastern Conference.
“Yeah, we’re in contiguous states, southeast quadrant,” Sankey said during SEC Media Days. “I do have a few letters about what ‘southeast’ means. We are in the southeast quadrant of the United States. Those two additions actually restore rivalries. The Texas-Arkansas game last year was pretty special, but that goes back a long way. Obviously Texas and Texas A&M rivalry will be like our in-state rivalries across the league. You have Missouri and Oklahoma that are a quarter of the Big Eight that are now part of the Southeastern Conference and the opportunity for Arkansas and Oklahoma to play regularly.”
*Quotes via SEC Communications (ASAP Sports)*