Big 12 officials have discussed a structure in which Texas and Oklahoma would receive additional revenue shares as a way of enticing the two schools to remain in the conference rather than pursue a future in the SEC, conference sources have told CBS Sports.
Such a structure would grant the Longhorns and Sooners an additional half-share annually (1.5 shares each), bumping their payouts to approximately $56 million per year. The other eight schools would decrease their payouts accordingly. Big 12 schools currently average $37 million in annual TV rights earnings, including revenue from bowl games and the NCAA Tournament.
The topic became a discussion point Thursday night during the conference call with Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Texas and Oklahoma were not part of the call. One person familiar with the conversation stressed the revenue share idea was "from the 50,000-foot level" and preliminary in nature.
Texas and Oklahoma are expected to inform the Big 12 on Monday of their intent to not renew their grant of rights agreements with the league, effectively indicating their departure from the conference. That agreement lasts through the 2024-25 athletic season.
What is not known is when the Longhorns and Sooners hope to actually leave the Big 12. As CBS Sports reported Friday, the Big 12 powers would owe the conference as much as $80 million each should they leave before the current TV rights deal expires.
One industry source told CBS Sports that such a bold move could serve as a warning to a conference like the Big Ten, which must ensure it keeps Ohio State and Michigan from moving in the future.
There are exceptions, but most FBS conferences share revenue equally.
While the Big 12 revenue play may be a longshot, league sources tell CBS Sports that the conference hasn't given up on keeping Texas and Oklahoma in the fold. Retaining UT and OU was the first stated goal in a summary provided by the Big 12 following that Thursday night conference call.
If Texas and Oklahoma move to the SEC as expected, there will be a financial windfall for those schools and the SEC as a whole. SEC teams currently earn an average of $44 million per year from their rights agreement, a figure that could balloon to over $60 million with UT and OU in tow.