Reports: Big 12 on track to approve 4 new members next week
Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston are on track to accept invitations to the Big 12 as soon as Sept. 10, Sports Illustrated reported Friday.
Multiple news outlets in Houston first reported that the four universities were scheduled to take part in a call with the league Monday to discuss expansion plans.
The Big 12 is solidifying its future in the wake of Oklahoma’s and Texas’ decision this summer to accept invitations to the SEC, beginning in 2025.
Houston has a history with Big 12 members Baylor, Texas Christian and Texas Tech in the old Southwestern Conference, which ceased to exist in 1996 when the Big 12 formed. Houston, UCF and Cincinnati have reached New Year’s Six bowl games in football, while BYU finished No. 11 in the final 2020 Associated Press poll.
Adding four athletic programs while losing two would bring the Big 12 back to 12 member institutions. However, reports said the schools could join the Big 12 as early as 2023, which may lead to a 14-team league for a few seasons before the Sooners and Longhorns depart.
In order to leave their current conference, the American Athletic Conference, the trio of UCF, Cincinnati and Houston must give 27 months’ notice. BYU, however, is a football independent and may be able to join the Big 12 sooner. The Cougars play in the West Coast Conference for all other sports.
Reports late Thursday said that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was visiting Houston’s campus.
–Field Level Media