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College football realignment: Update on when Texas/OU will join SEC

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Texas and Oklahoma kicked off the latest phase of college football realignment last year by announcing their intention to join the SEC.

But the question always hovered over the decision: When would they do it?

Officially, the date is set for just before the 2025 college football season, but there have been rumors that the schools could make the jump earlier.

But that's not the current plan, according to SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.

“That’s not up to me,” Sankey said at SEC Media Days. “That’s up to Oklahoma, Texas, and the Big 12. We are focused on the addition being effective July 1, 2025.”

As of right now, that's the official date when the face of the SEC and college football will change forever.

That is, unless Texas and Oklahoma can get out of their grant of rights agreement with the Big 12 before then.

A year ago, the schools told the Big 12 that they intend to honor the existing contract with the conference, but also that they would "monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future."

Which is legal-speak that translates into roughly that the schools are looking for any possible way to join the SEC earlier than 2025.

In order to do that, Texas and Oklahoma would have to fork over an exit fee to the Big 12 somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million per school.

They would also have to give the Big 12 18 months' notice of their intention to leave the conference early, according to the league's bylaws.

Which means the schools almost certainly have a team of lawyers combing through every line of that deal to see if there's anything the schools can use to force an early exit and avoid forking over that cash.

But as far as the SEC itself is concerned, 2025 is the date when Texas and Oklahoma will join the most dominant and competitive conference in college football.

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