Oklahoma’s move to the SEC could arrive sooner than we thought.
After ESPN college football reporter Pete Thamel on Wednesday cited sources reporting that the Southeastern Conference had informed Tennessee and Georgia not to play their upcoming home-and-home series against Oklahoma, OU was quick to confirm this.
Joint press releases from the OU and SEC announced that the school’s upcoming transition into the Southeastern Conference “will not allow the participating institutions (Georgia and Tennessee) to fulfill their respective contractual obligations for home and home off-conference appearances.
“As the second non-conference game in each of the Oklahoma-Georgia and Oklahoma-Tennessee series is scheduled to occur after OU joins the SEC in 2025, the conference is directing the postponement of the Georgia vs. Oklahoma game in 2023 and Oklahoma at the Tennessee game in 2024 until such time as these encounters become part of the Games’ conference rotation for years to come.
So an OU and Texas move in 2023 or 2024 isn’t guaranteed, but these developments pave the way for it to become much more likely.
The Bulldogs and Sooners are scheduled to meet in Norman next year, and OU at UT – a game originally canceled by the COVID pandemic – was originally scheduled for 2024. OU is also scheduled to play in Georgia in 2031.
Texas’ upcoming SEC series do not apply to this adjustment. Texas has the second game of a home-and-home series scheduled for next year in Alabama (the teams played the first game in Austin last week), as well as home-and-home series with Georgia (2028-29) and Florida (2030 -31).
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Because the Texas-Alabama series is scheduled to end before the Longhorns 25 begin SEC membership, and because their series with Georgia and Florida will begin after transition, there is no urgency at this time to rearrange future schedules.
The Sooners also have contracts for future home-and-home series with LSU (2027 Norman, 2028 Baton Rouge) and Alabama (2032 Norman, 2033 Tuscaloosa).
Later Tuesday, Baton Rouge radio host Matt Moscona reported that LSU will lose its home-and-home series without a conference with OU and is working on options to replace the Sooners.
In its Tuesday press release, OU announced the addition of a home-and-home series with SMU to be played in Norman next year (September 9) and Dallas in 2027 (September 11).
“We recognize the initial excitement of hosting Georgia next season and heading to Knoxville in 2024, and the short-term disappointment this news can bring,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione. “But circumstances obviously dictated a change in our schedules. The good news is that future SEC schedules will feature an appropriate rotation with Georgia and Tennessee coming to Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, and we’ll be playing on these great campuses as well.
“And we’re grateful to be able to fill Georgia’s scheduling gap with the series against SMU, a program that has won 25 games over the past three seasons. Special thanks to SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart for his cooperation during this scheduling shift.”
This story will be updated throughout Wednesday as more information becomes available.