Big 12 invites BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston to join conference

Teams replace Texas and Okla. going to SEC
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Posted at 10:42 AM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 12:57:55-04

DALLAS, Texas — The Big XII Conference voted Friday to extend invitations to join the league to the BYU Cougars, University of Central Florida Knights, University of Cincinnati Bearcats, and the University of Houston Cougars.

According to the conference, “Today’s actions were in accordance with Big 12 Conference Bylaw 1.5.2.b.3 requiring an affirmative vote of a supermajority of Directors, and was approved unanimously by the eight continuing members.” The conference said the school’s boards will be in session Friday to likely accept membership to the conference.

The official date of the teams joining the conference hasn’t been announced, but according to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, BYU will join in 2023 and the new conference will allow the Cougars to not schedule games on Sundays.

Adding the teams will add key television markets including Orlando, Cincinnati, Houston, and the national following enjoyed by BYU. The move also gives the conference some stability after it lost the two biggest teams in the conference. The Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns previously announced their intent to leave the Big XII and join the top conference in college football, the SEC.

Things could get tricky for the conference as it moves forward. As of Friday, both Oklahoma and Texas would each have to pay between $75 and $80 million to leave the Big 12 earlier than 2025 to join the SEC, which would then become a 16-team league. However, if BYU is joining in 2023, OU and Texas may be negotiating an earlier exit to allow all sides to move forward.

Here’s how the new Big 12 will look with the new teams.

  • Baylor
  • Iowa State
  • Central Florida
  • Kansas
  • Kansas State
  • Oklahoma State
  • TCU
  • Cincinnati
  • Texas Tech
  • West Virginia
  • BYU
  • Houston