Barring a dramatic change of direction, the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma appear to be headed to the Southeastern Conference in a seismic shift that will have repercussions on the entire NCAA.
The first and significant formal step of the process could come as early as Monday, with the two schools informing the Big 12 they will not renew the contact that binds conference members until 2025.
The move would come with a hefty price tag, an early departure from the conference could cost each school well over $100,000,000.
But the benefits of joining the SEC outweigh the risk, and as with moves of this nature, it all comes down to money.
The TV rights deal between ESPN and the SEC, signed last year, will bump each conference member's annual distribution to about 68 million dollars, starting in 2024.
Compare that to the Big 12's distribution of $34.5 million per school.
And while a move to the SEC would mean a tougher schedule for the Texas and Oklahoma football programs, the NCAA's plans to expand its playoff to 12 teams will make an easier path to the national championship for both schools.
While it's not a done deal just yet, it appears likely that Texas and Oklahoma will start the 2022 college football season as members of the SEC.