Big 12 Welcomes Four New Members

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby

On Friday, the Big 12 Conference officially announced the addition of four new members – BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston – but league commissioner Bob Bowlsby did not shut the door on further expansion in the future.

“I think we’re always going to be open to opportunities as they present themselves,” said Bowlsby during a press conference to welcome the four new members. “We’re living in a very fast-changing athletic environment.

“As there are targets of opportunity or situations that dictate that we change composition, we’ll be prepared to do those things,” he added.

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BYU, which is an independent in football and a member of the West Coast Conference in most other sports, is slated to join the Big 12 at the start of the 2023-24 athletic year. Bowlsby said that UCF, Cincinnati and Houston, all of whom are currently members of The American, will each move to the Big 12 “not later than July 1, 2024. It could be in ’23, but that hasn’t been determined yet.”

Oklahoma and Texas will be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, though the exact date of their departure has still not been revealed.

“We’ll be at 14 for a while, and we’ll drop back to 12,” noted Bowlsby, referring to a league that could contain both those arriving and those departing for a couple years.

Big 12 Football Championship Trophy

Most believe OU and UT are in negations to try to exit the Big 12 prior to the end of their current contracted grant of rights, which runs another four years.

In terms of the finances for those who will be part of the new-look Big 12, whose current TV contract runs through 2025, the commissioner said the changing broadcast world makes it hard to predict exactly what the league’s broadcast rights will be worth in the future.

The Big 12’s present TV deals with ESPN and FOX bring the league a total of $200 million per year. The conference’s total payout to each school, with the inclusion of not only TV money but also income from the NCAA, bowls, league championships, etc., is in the neighborhood of $37 million annually. What that is in the future is something the Big 12 commission says is hard to project at the moment.

“You can’t forecast right now that it will be this much more or this much less,” said Bowlsby.

The speed of the Big 12’s lineup change has been incredibly swift. Less than two months ago those in the league – as well as most everyone in college athletics – were shocked by the revelation that Texas and Oklahoma were leaving the conference they helped found in 1996 and moving to the SEC. Now, 46 days after the Longhorns and Sooners officially informed the Big 12 of their decision to depart, the conference they are leaving has reconstructed itself with four new members, who are set to join the eight who remain.

“We are adding four great universities today,” said Bowlsby. “It’s a good day – 200,000 students, three additional states, 40 million in population, three of the best recruiting areas in the entire nation, tremendously successful broad-based athletic programs led by some outstanding coaches and administrators. So, it’s a good day by any measure.”



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    On Friday, the Big 12 Conference officially announced the addition of four new members – BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston – but league com
    [See the full post at: Big 12 Welcomes Four New Members]


    It is change and probably will keep the Big 12 as a  power 5 conference.   I have been betting since this started that Oklahoma and Texas will not stay around years.  It would not surprise me if this is their last season in the Big 12 but if not then 2022 will be their last.



    Thats interesting. Some decent competition in that crowd. And we will see Holgerson again. Hope we embarrass him heavily.


    WVU is the only one of the 8 that didn’t welcome the new members, Hmmmm…..


    JAL, if you think they are leaving early it would either be they will simply walk away and let the courts decide what their cost is which they could then challenge so they delay as long as possible paying what has been decided; or, they try to negotiate a settlement against what they owe and offer a % of that which saves the cost of litigation; or, they walk away, fight in court to reduce their costs, then negotiate against the judgment in exchange for not appealing and fighting the judgment.

    Based on those possibilities what do you think their liability actually is and what amount do you think the B12 would accept in lieu of litigation?  Just curious how you think their leaving early is accomplished and at what cost.


    All 8 remaining schools voted YES to invite them….that includes WVU…..what more of a welcome do you want?


    WVU is the only one of the 8 that didn’t welcome the new members, Hmmmm…..

    Where did you see this?  WVU voted Yes.


    Talking about news release, ie twitter etc…

    But since I posted that, WVU came out tonight and did.


    The Big12 said it was unanimous for their press release, but behind the scenes I wonder if it truly was.  I have my doubts.


    Tyler if they didn’t have a super majority that’s 8 it can’t pass. If someone voted against it snd they hid it, it will come out. Who care what the covered wagon and mutant cows did said or anything. I accept them because I have to


    It keeps being stated/reported/claimed or whatever you want to call it, but UT and OK no longer have a seat at the table of the B12 Board of Directors, who vote on all things B12.  So it is not that they no longer have a vote, they do not even have a seat or presence in the room.

    Only the 8 remaining members have a vote and a super majority of the 8 members is 6 members.  Regardless of the discussions that took place before the formal vote, which is certainly the time to have whatever discussions you want to have, when it came time to vote all 8 voted yes.


    Saw an article about when the SEC expects UT and OK to join the conference and the SEC commish is continuing to say for the 2025 season.  Sorry, did not copy the link and I did not see the article again.

    It would be to the B12’s advantage to add all the new members as quickly as possible, even if it means buying the AAC school’s out of their commitment.  Their buyout is a relatively modest $10 million each versus the $75-80 million each for UT and OK.

    By getting them in early we could go to divisions, which would be nice for travel and scheduling.  Also, it would give the new members a chance to compete against both UT and OK before they leave, demonstrating their level of play against the “name brands” of the conference.

    Thoughts, if anyone is interested, on what a reasonable amount might be to get them in conference early and how early should that be?


    As long as we don’t have to play byu at all in any sport during the regular season, then whatever.


    Tylerite, why the anti BYU sentiment in a lot of your posts?


    Made the only moves available to him but still seems Bowlsby is playing chess against Kasparov.


    It wasn’t the only moves to make and it wasn’t even the best move either.


    Byu is like a mini ND, pure……………..over inflated ego.


    And that’s the reason you think they’ll single handedly be the end of the big 12?

    I mean, I wasn’t for BYU by any means,  but at some point we know where you stand.


    You should of known from the beginning


    IMO the reason BYU is the way they are is because the Big Boys Like Notre Dumb, Alabama, Oklahoma and others believe BYU is just a blip on the radar or 1 hit wonder. BYU is a quality program and to be honest they are a better fit in the Big12 then we are. They have a great following fan base they have their own TV channel that is on most cable companies line up west of the Mississippi. So far they have best 2 PAC12 schools in a row and it may be 3 by next Sunday as they play Arizona State at home. They can compete as well as us.


    Sorry, I just can’t get excited about the new additions. We might as well be in CUSA…(hyperbole)

    The ACC is where we need to be.Period.

    Which is better? To be in the top tier of a mediocre conference or in the middle of the pack in a true power conference?

    I’ll take door #2.


    PS..It’s hard to believe that teams like TCU,Okie St,Texas Tech,Iowa State aren’t looking elsewhere too.

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Home Page forums Big 12 Welcomes Four New Members

Home Page forums Big 12 Welcomes Four New Members