Oct 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Texas Longhorns defensive end Justice Finkley (1) and Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn (99) sack Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Davis Beville (11) during the second half at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Texas, Oklahoma reach deal to leave Big 12 in 2024

Texas and Oklahoma agreed to a $100 million fee to exit the Big 12 Conference a year earlier than their contractual obligation, meaning they will join the Southeastern Conference for the 2024-25 school year.

The Big 12 announced Thursday that the schools and the reached an agreement in principle regarding the exit fee.

“As I have consistently stated, the Conference would only agree to an early withdrawal if it was in our best interest for Oklahoma and Texas to depart prior to June 30, 2025,” Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said in a statement. “By reaching this agreement, we are now able to accelerate our new beginning as a 12-team league and move forward in earnest with our initiatives and future planning.

“I appreciate the approaches of OU President Joe Harroz and UT President Jay Hartzell to ensure an amicable conclusion to this process, and look forward to the bright days ahead for the Big 12 Conference.”

Hartzell said in a statement, in part, “We have always been committed to fulfilling our contractual obligations to the Big 12. The collegiate athletics landscape has continued to evolve rapidly, and working together to accelerate our exit produced benefits for all parties. The Big 12 has been a respected partner for nearly three decades, and we look forward to a final season of spirited competition with our friends and rivals.”

“The exciting matchups and passionate rivalries of the past quarter century will always be a celebrated part of our shared history,” Harroz added in a statement, in part. “We look forward to showcasing that intensity this season, next season and beyond.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey wrote in a statement that the conference will “proceed with facilitating the transition of Oklahoma and Texas to become full members of the Southeastern Conference on July 1, 2024.”

He added, “We look forward to welcoming the conference’s new members and moving into the future as a 16-team league.”

BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are set to join the Big 12 for the 2023-24 school year, giving the conference 14 teams for one season before the Longhorns and Sooners exit.

–Field Level Media

Texas Longhorns forward Christian Bishop (32) smiles as he walks past Oklahoma Sooners forward Jalen Hill (1) during an NCAA men's college basketball game between the University of Oklahoma and Texas at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Texas won 70-69.

Oklahoma Vs Texas Basketball

Delay of gain: Texas, Oklahoma reportedly won’t join SEC until 2025

Red River rivals Texas and Oklahoma are not headed downstream from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference until 2025 because of complex TV rights negotiations, according to multiple reports.

The planned exit to the SEC was expected to take place for the 2024 academic year and become official in July.

ESPN reported Friday morning the delay was borne out of failed negotiations that included two universities and two networks.

“Parties couldn’t come to terms amid a complex negotiation between two schools (OU/Texas), two networks (ESPN/FOX) and the Big 12,” ESPN reported.

The topic of the Sooners and Longhorns leaving was on the frontburner this week at Big 12 conference meetings, where the agenda also listed discussions about adding Gonzaga and potential further expansion.

BYU, Cincinnati and Houston are all joining the Big 12 in July, in what was expected to be the end of Texas and Oklahoma’s run in the league.

The Big 12 released its full season football schedule on Tuesday, including Texas-Oklahoma on Oct. 7.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Texas Longhorns defensive end Justice Finkley (1) and Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Keondre Coburn (99) sack Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Davis Beville (11) during the second half at the Cotton Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 releases football schedule for 14-team season

The 2023 Big 12 football schedule, released on Tuesday, will make for some awkward get-togethers.

While BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF are joining the league, Oklahoma and Texas have not yet departed for the SEC.

All 14 teams will play nine conference games, starting Sept. 16 when newcomer Houston hosts TCU, the 2022 College Football Playoff runner-up and a former Southwest Conference rival.

Texas will face just two of the Big 12’s newest entries, and the games will come back-to-back. The Longhorns will visit Houston Oct. 21 and host BYU Oct. 28

Oklahoma, meanwhile, will open its Big 12 schedule by visiting Cincinnati Sept. 23. The Sooners will later host UCF Oct. 21 and travel to BYU Nov. 18.

The annual Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is set for Oct. 7 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

A rematch of last season’s Big 12 championship game, between TCU and equally surprising Kansas State, will be Oct. 21 in Manhattan, Kan.

Oklahoma State is slated to host Oklahoma on Nov. 4 in the Bedlam series matchup.

Oklahoma and Texas will join the SEC in either 2024 or 2025. The two bluebloods’ decision to jump ship prompted the Big 12 to invite BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, some of the most successful athletic programs from outside the power conferences.

–Field Level Media

Nov 9, 2019; Norman, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) throws during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles’ Jalen Hurts, 49ers’ Brock Purdy recall epic college shootout

Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy are familiar foes, having met in one of the most exciting games of the 2019 college football season as Big 12 rivals.

The quarterbacks accounted for 11 of that game’s 12 touchdowns as No. 9 Oklahoma held off visiting Iowa State 42-41.

Hurts, the Eagles’ No. 1 quarterback and a finalist for NFL MVP honors, was the quarterback of the No. 9 Sooners. Oklahoma held a 21-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Purdy, the impressive San Francisco 49ers rookie who entered the starting lineup due to injuries, impressively rallied Iowa State to 20 fourth-quarter points to make it a one-point game with 24 seconds left. The Cyclones went for the win but Purdy’s two-point conversion pass was intercepted.

“You had to score almost every time you had the ball almost,” Purdy recalled. “It’s a different situation and scenario than we’re about to do on Sunday. It was a fun college game, it was a great experience to go up against Jalen and they had a great team. He was making plays and I felt we had to do the same as well.”

Purdy accounted for six touchdowns (five passing, one running) and threw for 268 yards and rushed for 55 more. Hurts passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns and added 68 yards and two scores on the ground.

Hurts also has vivid memories of that game, and he’s not surprised Purdy, a seventh-round draft pick, is undefeated in seven career NFL starts, including two this postseason.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” Hurts said. “He’s always been a really good player. He has a lot of moxie, he makes plays and he’s been doing this since college so it’s not a surprise that when he was given this opportunity to see the success he’s having now.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) throws a pass against the Florida State Seminoles in the fourth quarter during the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel commits to returning

Starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel is returning for another season at Oklahoma in 2023, he announced Thursday.

“This island boy found a home in Oklahoma,” the Hawaii native wrote in a social media post.

Gabriel took over as the Sooners’ starter in 2022 upon transferring from UCF. He played in 12 of Oklahoma’s 13 games and threw for 3,168 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He added 317 rushing yards and six scores on the ground.

Gabriel missed one game, a 49-0 blowout loss to rival Texas, after being knocked out of the prior game against TCU from a hit to the head.

Following a 35-32 loss to No. 13 Florida State in the Cheez-It Bowl, Oklahoma finished Brent Venables’ first season as coach 6-7, its worst record since 1998, the final year before Bob Stoops took over the program.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Gabriel Dillon (8) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles in the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Late FG lifts No. 13 Florida State past Oklahoma in Cheez-It Bowl

Jordan Travis threw for a career-high 418 yards and two touchdowns to lift No. 13 Florida State to a 35-32 victory over Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl on Thursday in Orlando, Florida.

Travis hit Johnny Wilson for a 58-yard gain with less than three minutes remaining set up Ryan Fitzgerald’s 32-yard field goal with 55 seconds left to break a tie.

Florida State (10-3) finished with at least 10 wins for the first time since 2016. Oklahoma (6-7) wound up with a losing record for the first time since 1998.

Wilson had eight catches for 202 yards, and teammate Treshaun Ward gained 81 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

Jovantae Barnes ran for 108 yards and a score on 27 attempts for the Sooners, while freshman Gavin Sawchuk produced 100 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

The Sooners jumped ahead early, scoring touchdowns on two of their first three drives.

First, Dillon Gabriel hit Jalil Farooq for a 22-yard touchdown to cap a 13-play, 75-yard drive.

But the Sooners — already down three starting offensive linemen — lost freshman starting tackle Jacob Sexton on the drive. He did not return.

Then on the first play of the second quarter, Gabriel finished off a drive with an 8-yard touchdown run to put the Sooners up 14-3.

Ontaria Wilson’s 16-yard touchdown reception was followed with a two-point conversion to pull Florida State within 14-11 midway through the second quarter.

The Sooners took a 17-11 lead into halftime after the Sooners drove 65 yards in the final two minutes before half and added a 41-yard Zach Schmit field goal in the closing seconds before half.

Florida State took its first lead since early in the first quarter on a 15-play, 94-yard drive in the third quarter, capped by Ward’s 1-yard touchdown run.

Oklahoma regained the lead early in the fourth on Sawchuk’s 15-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion put the Sooners up 25-18.

But the Seminoles quickly answered, as Ward broke off a 38-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

On the next drive, Jammie Robinson recovered Sawchuk’s fumble at the Florida State 32 to thwart the Sooners’ drive.

Travis hit Trey Benson for a 33-yard gain on the first play to kickstart a six-play touchdown drive capped by Travis’ 17-yard touchdown to Markeston Douglas.

Oklahoma wasn’t going away, though.

Gabriel scrambled for a 23-yard run, and then hit Farooq for a 28-yard gain to put the Sooners on the doorstep before Barnes’ 12-yard touchdown tied it at 32 with 3:37 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) runs the ball as Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness (91) looks to make the tackle during the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Guaranteed Rate Bowl: Wisconsin-Oklahoma St. Betting Preview

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl offers no guarantee when it comes to the best players taking the field on Dec. 27 in Phoenix.

Wisconsin (6-6) and Oklahoma State (7-5) have been hit with heavy attrition, but they’ll continue their longstanding streak of bowl appearances when they meet two days after Christmas at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field. The Badgers have the third-longest streak at 21 and Oklahoma State is sixth at 17 consecutive bowl showings.

Among other commonalities: Each team lost a veteran starting quarterback to the transfer portal. Garret Rangel will quarterback the Cowboys with four-year starter Spencer Sanders gone, while either senior Chase Wolf (six pass attempts this season) or freshman Myles Burkett (five) will start for the Badgers in place of three-year starter Graham Mertz.

Wisconsin has a new coach in Luke Fickell and the change may have fueled some of the opt-outs. In addition to players placing their name in the portal, six Badgers have skipped out of the game in favor of preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft, including star linebacker Nick Herbig (11 sacks) and nose tackle Keeanu Benton (10 tackles for loss).

Oklahoma State also lost leading tackler Mason Cobb — a linebacker with 96 stops — and leading rusher Dominic Richardson (543 yards) to the portal.

With all the uncertainty around personnel on both sidelines, Wisconsin is a consensus 3.5-point favorite. The line opened at 3.0 at BetMGM, where 56 percent of the spread-line bets and 54 percent of the money is backing Oklahoma State.

The action has been split at DraftKings, with the sportsbook reporting 56 percent of the bets supporting the Cowboys while the Badgers have drawn 56 percent of the handle.

Cowboys coach Mike Gundy sees the game as an opportunity to notch a victory. Oklahoma State has lost five of seven games since a 5-0 start.

“Every game we play is important,” Gundy told reporters. “And I’ve always said this, we try to instill basic values and core principles in our team from Day One. It doesn’t make a difference who we are playing, where we are playing, what the records are, we’re playing in a game.

“And so we all signed up for this. We have an obligation to compete, to prepare, to play the very best we can, coach the very best we can, put the best product on the field every game.”

Meanwhile, Fickell, who was hired away from Cincinnati, is serving in a figurehead role for this game.

Fickell told reporters that former interim coach Jim Leonhard will run the defense and offensive coordinator Bobby Engram will lead the offense. Fickell has made hires to replace both men for next season.

Inside linebacker Maema Njongmeta, the team’s leading tackler with 88, said he likes Fickell’s approach for this game.

“His messaging has been really consistent,” Njongmeta said. “‘Hey, I’m here for you guys. I’m not trying to do anything to change anything. I’m learning about you. I’m not trying to control anything just yet. I understand I have to let you guys finish this season off.’”

One star playing in the game is Badgers running back Braelon Allen, who has rushed for 1,126 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

Another is Cowboys safety Jason Taylor II, who has 87 tackles and is tied for second nationally with six interceptions.

This is the first meeting between the programs.

The 45.0-point Over/Under at DraftKings has seen the Over draw 56 percent of the bets and 61 percent of the money. The market opened at 43.5 points at BetMGM but has also shifted to 45 with the Under backed by 58 percent of the bets and the Over by 54 percent of the money.

–Field Level Media

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) eyes the end zone as he runs down the field. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Florida Gators 45-38 at Doak Campbell Stadium on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022.

Fsu V Uf First Half1485

No. 13 Florida State aims for 10th win, faces Oklahoma in Cheez-It Bowl

The last time Florida State and Oklahoma met in a bowl game, the stage was much larger.

It’s been 22 seasons since the Sooners knocked off the Seminoles 13-2 to win the 2000 national championship.

But when No. 13 Florida State and Oklahoma face off in the Cheez-It Bowl on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., both teams will have plenty of opportunity to make a year-ending statement.

The Seminoles (9-3), back in a bowl after a two-year absence, are looking to finish a season with 10 wins for the first time since 2016.

“It would just mean everything just to this program, the guys, and to everybody that supports us,” Florida State defensive tackle Dennis Briggs said of the possibility of winning 10 games.

The Seminoles won just eight games combined in Mike Norvell’s first two seasons as head coach before turning things around this season. Florida State won its last five games of the regular season.

The Sooners (6-6) are looking to avoid finishing below .500 for the first time since 1998, the year before Bob Stoops took over as head coach and brought aboard Brent Venables as co-defensive coordinator.

Now, Venables is Oklahoma’s head coach, wrapping up his first season.

It hasn’t always gone smoothly, with the Sooners going just 3-6 in Big 12 play and dropping three of their final four games, with the lone win coming against Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma has been hit hard by players opting out for the NFL draft, including both of its starting offensive tackles — Wanya Morris and Anton Harrison — plus running back Eric Gray and defensive tackle Jalen Redmond.

Running back Jovantae Barnes is one of the players who figures to see his role expand significantly in the bowl game after playing behind Gray much of the season. He has run for 411 yards and four touchdowns.

“It’s a new step,” Barnes said. “I have a bigger role for this game. … All season I’ve been building my confidence to getting this role.

“I feel like I’m ready, and the running back group is ready.”

For Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel, the game is a return to a familiar place.

Gabriel played for UCF in Orlando from 2019-21 before transferring to Oklahoma.

While the Sooners have had plenty of roster turnover since the end of the regular season, Florida State comes into the bowl largely intact.

That includes quarterback Jordan Travis — who threw for 2,796 yards and 22 touchdowns with just four interceptions — running back Trey Benson and edge rusher Jared Verse, among others.

“Everybody’s super focused, locked in, but you also have that sense that everybody’s enjoying practice at the same time,” Briggs said. “Everybody’s attention to detail is spot-on.”

Florida State is in the Cheez-It Bowl for the fourth time. The Seminoles won the inaugural game in 1990 when it was known as the Blockbuster Bowl, and won in 2008 and 2011 when it was known as the Champs Sports Bowl.

Oklahoma lost to Clemson in the 2014 game when it was known as the Russell Athletic Bowl.

The Sooners are in a bowl for the 24th consecutive season, second only to Georgia among active streaks.

–Field Level Media

Abilene High receiver Frederick Johnson (7) tries to break a tackle of Denton Guyer's Peyton Bowen (22) during the first half of Saturday's Region I-6A Division II semifinal at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Ahs Fb Dguyer Halftime

Five-star S Peyton Bowen signs with Oklahoma, not Oregon

Five-star safety Peyton Bowen spent almost a full calendar year pledged to Notre Dame before flipping his commitment to Oregon on Wednesday. A day later, he changed his mind again.

Bowen said Thursday he acted hastily when he said that he’d play for the Ducks and instead said he is headed to Oklahoma. The Sooners announced he had signed with the program.

“As I reflect on yesterday’s whirlwind I recognize that I made mistakes that I regret and will learn from,” he began a lengthy statement posted to Twitter. “Navigating this process has been a rollercoaster. With that being said, I also know that I was blessed to be in the position to consider multiple wonderful universities as I continue my football career.

” … Soon after choosing Oregon yesterday morning, I came to the realization that the decision was not the best path for me. I immediately started to rethink my future.”

Bowen is ranked as the No. 2 safety in the 2023 class by the 247Sports composite. From John Guyer High School in Denton, Texas, he had been committed to the Irish since Jan. 1 before Wednesday’s move.

He had more than 200 tackles, 12 interceptions and 23 pass breakups from his sophomore through senior seasons at Guyer, which reached the state semifinals this year. He was a 2022 Mr. Texas Football semifinalist.

–Field Level Media

Quarterback Nick Evers (7) goes through Drills as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU ) hold fall football camp outside Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on  Aug. 8, 2022 in Norman, Okla.  [Steve Sisney/For The Oklahoman]

Ou Fall Camp

Ex-Oklahoma QB Nick Evers transfers to Wisconsin

Former Oklahoma backup quarterback Nick Evers is transferring to Wisconsin.

He made the announcement Saturday on social media.

The 6-foot-3 Evers was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2022, and the 247Sports composite ranked him as the No. 9 overall quarterback. From Flower Mound (Texas) High School, he committed first to Florida and then changed his mind and chose Oklahoma.

He was one of the backups to Dillon Gabriel, who transferred from UCF and gained the starting job. Gabriel is set to return to the Sooners in 2023.

Wisconsin has a void at quarterback as starter Graham Mertz entered the transfer portal. As a redshirt freshman, Evers has four years of eligibility remaining.

In 2022, Evers appeared in just one game and was 0-for-1 passing.

–Field Level Media