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Latest conference chaos may expedite OU’s exodus

The driving force behind the ever-changing and chaotic world of College Conference Reliance is keeping pace with Jonesis, and the latest steps on that front could speed up the timeline for when Oklahoma football will take on its new home at the SEC.

The latest presentation from Conference Reliance – or when the big conferences get richer and bigger, leaving the smaller ones on the brink of extinction – is pulling the Pac-12 Kingpin USC and UCLA Big. The announcement comes almost a year after Oklahoma and Texas announced their departure from the Big 12 to stay with the SEC.

Earlier this year, the Big 12 announced that Cincinnati, UCF and Houston, current members of the American Athletic Conference, would join the Big 12 with BYU. And a month ago, after discussing the departure dates for three AAC schools, Big 12 announced that four new schools would join Big 12 in the summer of 2023.

When OU and Texas officially announced in 2021 that they were leaving the Big 12, both schools said they wanted to meet the grant of their existing media rights agreement, which will not expire until 2025. No one really believes that Suners and Longhorn will still exist. Become a member of the Big 12 for the full term of that contract.

With four new teams joining the Big 12 in 2023 and UCLA and USC announcing that they are heading to the Big Ten by jumping aboard for the 2024 season, I believe this will be enough motivation for Oklahoma and Texas to negotiate an early departure from the Big. 12 in early 2024, or two years before the full term of their media rights agreement. Undoubtedly they have to count the financial penalties, but let’s be honest, both schools can easily meet the revenue bump they get from the SEC revenue distribution.

The Big 12 will be up to 14 teams in 2023 … and will count

The way things stand at the moment, however, it looks like Oklahoma and Texas will still be around 2023, resulting in a 14-team structure, and the Big 12 has indicated that it may not be the end of adding more teams. The conference is reported to be in serious discussions with two Arizona Pack-12 schools as well as former Big 12 schools in Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah.

If the Big 12 succeeds in adding six more Pac-12 schools, it will leave the Pac-12 as a shell in its predecessor and on the verge of collapsing all together. Moreover, it will give the Big 12 a leg up on ACC to survive all these Power Five shakeups which I believe will eventually end up as Power 3 or maybe even better as Power 2+.

It’s important to remember, all of these shaking and conference jumping are football-driven and really don’t go away when all the dust is gone. Unfortunately this means that huge basketball schools like Kansas and Duke, for example, which were not historically strong football brands, could be shaken to find a new conference home.

The SEC and Big Ten may not end up with an expansion, but the picks will be even thinner as both of these conferences believe they have already chosen the best of the rest.

Excluding OU and Texas, the Big 12 structure will grow to 18 members. It will be larger than the 16-team structure that will exist after the addition of UCLA and USC in the Big Ten and the SEC, and the Suners and Longhorns in the SEC. This may not bother either the SEC or the Big Ten, as the revenue stream and brand composition of these two conferences will be clearly dwarfed by the restructured Big 12’s.

Two out of five energy conferences, probably three, super conferences?

However, none of this talks about what will happen or could happen with the Atlantic Coastal Conference, which is currently proud of its 15 members. No disrespectful intent, but excluding Clemson and at one time Florida State and Miami, the ACC is a basketball-driven league. Somewhat though, you can also talk about the Big 12 after changing allegiance to Oklahoma and Texas.

The question is not whether both the ACC and the Big 12 will still be effective after all the energy-splits have been split and redistributed to the biggest brands in football – again, the key driver behind the whole restructuring movement has been talked about – but can they be? At the competitive level, both the production and distribution of revenue as well as the quality of athletic products must be viewed and respected on equal terms, as they are now.

This is a question for which there is currently no clear answer, but it has become abundantly clear in college football and in college athletics in general, changing rapidly and the way we knew it would never happen again. This comment is about Conference Reliance, but the transfer portal and other big changes that have taken place with names, images and similarities are adding extra fuel to the fire that is engulfing the entire Super Conference movement.

Once the last round of the conference’s musical chair is played – and it won’t be the last round, I can assure you – what were once five so-called power conferences will come down to four and three super conferences rushing towards what will not happen in the end. But the real economic value in terms of revenue distribution will be mainly in just two: the SEC and the Big Ten.

Data estimates made by the firm Navigate in March, and reported by the Oklahoma FanNation website, were estimated at $ 40.3 million per school for the distribution of Big 12 revenue in 2022, which includes Oklahoma and Texas. The comparative forecast for the Big Ten was $ 57.2 million and S 54.3 million for the SEC. To conclude a revenue comparison between the Power Five schools, the Pac-12 forecast was $ 34.4 million and the ACC’s was 30.9 million.

When Sooners and Longhorns become full members of the SEC, the school’s per capita income is expected to rise to about $ 75-80 million, almost double what they are currently receiving from the Big 12.

Soon they are fully aware and ready for what they are doing

There are many in the “Beware of What You Want” section who believe that Oklahoma will not be as successful in the SEC as it has been in the Big 12 and has always been a competitor to Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the LSU for the SEC Championship.

Historically, Oklahoma has held its own against the Southeastern Conference parties. The Sunners have faced 12 of the current 14 SEC teams and have a winning record against eight of those teams. Most of OU’s face-offs against the SEC team have naturally been against Missouri and Texas A&M, former members of the Big 12. The Sunners are all-time 67-24-5 against Missouri and 19-12 against the Aggies.

Against everyone else in the SEC, Oklahoma owns an all-time 24-13-2 record and has played more than 8 of the 12 SEC teams. It has a 3-2-1 record against Alabama.

Thus, it is not supported by the fact that Oklahoma will not be able to compete and do well in the SEC. For one thing, with an SEC presence, OU recruitment, which has been in the top-10 / top-15 levels for the past two decades, can only be improved, and I can assure you that the Suners will not go there in a middle-of-the-road -SEC with pack mentality.

It was never the Oklahoma way and it is not the Oklahoma standard.

Warning to SEC: Coming soon, and they will come with them!


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