Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
There’s a lot of changes coming to college football in the 2024 season. The College Football Playoff is expanding from four to 12 teams, the SEC’s massive contract with ESPN begins and California-Los Angeles and Southern Cal are joining the Big 10.
One major change is likely going to have to wait one more year as Oklahoma and Texas are poised to stick around in the Big 12 for one more season, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Friday morning.
Oklahoma-Texas’ contracts with the Big 12 don’t allow them to leave the conference for free until the 2025 season but it was long thought a contract negotiation would allow them to join the SEC a season early. However, the two schools, the Big 12, ESPN and Fox have not been able to come to an agreement on the financials and are unlikely to.
Texas and Oklahoma will join the SEC in 2025, as parties couldn’t come to terms amid a complex negotiation between two schools (OU/Texas), two networks (ESPN/FOX) and the Big 12.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 3, 2023
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The lack of a deal means a second season of lame duck Oklahoma and Texas in the new Big 12. The Big 12 expansion, which brings BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston into the conference, comes into affect in 2023 and is poised to be two seasons with the league’s departing powers remaining in the conference.
What does that mean for Tennessee?
The SEC will remain in its current format with two seven team divisions through 2024. That means in top of its annual matchups with its six SEC east foes and Alabama, Tennessee will travel to Starkville to face second year coach Zach Arnett and Mississippi State.
The SEC has yet to announce its new football scheduling format when the conference expands but the prevailing notion is that the conference schedule will expand to nine games and the league will get rid of its divisions. That sets the way for a 3-6 scheduling model that would see every school play the same three programs every season while playing the other 12 programs every other season.
That would allow for every team to play at every other school every four seasons. Currently, schools play at teams in the other division every 12 years— one of the biggest flaws of the current scheduling format.