Big 12 Gets 4 New Members In Latest College Sports Shuffle

In another sign of a precarious era of realignment in college sport, the Big 12 Conference moved friday to add Brigham Young University...


In another sign of a precarious era of realignment in college sport, the Big 12 Conference moved friday to add Brigham Young University, Cincinnati, Houston and the University of Central Florida, with colleges eligible to join as early as 2023.

BYU will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023, while the other three programs will join the league no later than July 1, 2024, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said on Friday.

The Big 12 had moved quickly to make up for the departure of Texas and Oklahoma to the stacked Southeast Conference, home to three of the top five football teams (with # 1 from Alabama, # 2 from Georgia and # 5 from Texas A&M). In July, Texas and Oklahoma, two of the founding member schools of the Big 12, announced in a joint statement that they would not renew their existing television contracts beyond 2025, leaving the conference with little choice but to start looking for other candidates to fill the impending hole.

Houston, central Florida and Cincinnati are currently part of the American Athletic Conference, which will expand to nine schools after they leave. AAC rules require schools to give 27 months’ notice and pay a $ 10 million buyout before leaving the conference.

Texas and Oklahoma are expected to leave the league in 2025, but may leave sooner. Otherwise, the Big 12 could potentially have some overlap with its new members and exiting members.

Either way, Bowlsby said, the programming and organization of all of its sports should be re-examined, with divisions likely in some and the first decisions needed on how many conference football games each team should play. .

In a reportBYU Chairman Kevin J Worthen said joining the Big 12 gives BYU, which is an independent football school, an “opportunity to strengthen that commitment for student-athletes, enabling them to compete at the highest level. both on and off the pitch “.

Houston athletic director Chris Pezman in a statement described his move as a “current years announcement.”

“Our past collective performances have led us to the opportunity we have today”, Pezman said. “We are touched, honored, enthusiastic and ready to get to work. “

For the Big 12, the maneuver represents a new rebound in recent history. The conference seemed to be on the verge of collapse in the early 2010s, when four schools (Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, and Texas A&M) left the conference during another era of NCAA realignment. This left the Big 12 with just 10 schools. The league managed to survive with an influx of TV money from Fox and when Texas, which had threatened to leave what was then the Pacific 10, agreed to stay put (until recently).

Bowlsby said he was confident that with the additions the Big 12 could retain its power as one of the five richest conferences in varsity sport.

“We added both digitally, and we added with high quality,” he said, adding, “I think we’re heading towards the five autonomy conferences having more to say about how the rules are built and managed only less.

Last month, the Pac-12, Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences formed an alliance in response to the strengthening of the SEC as a means of navigating the current era of realignment.

Since then, the Pac-12 has denied any intention to expand its conference, and no formal expansion plans have come from the Big Ten or the ACC either. Bowlsby said on Friday, however, that the Big 12 could potentially invite more members.

“I wouldn’t say we’re done,” Bowlsby said. “Our board will want to keep an eye on what’s going on. If there were targets or opportunities, we would think about it.

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC will certainly also mean in an extension proposal the College Football Playoff of four to 12 teams to ensure their teams are as well positioned as possible given the SEC’s current dominance in the sport.

Bowlsby was a member of a subcommittee – comprising the Mountain West and Southeastern conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director – that considered expanding the playoffs and is in favor of an extension to 12 teams. He said on Friday he expects it to be “relative certainty” from now on that the playoffs will drop from four. He added that plans should be clearer after a board meeting at the end of the month.

The AAC is now starting its search to add more members. Its commissioner, Mike Aresco, said in a statement that the news of the realignment confirmed “what we have said from the start regarding our status as a conference of power.”

“The irony that three of our schools are being asked to replace the two renowned schools leaving the Big 12 is not lost on us,” Aresco added. “Our conference aimed to exceed expectations in a system that was not designed to scale with our success. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Big 12 Gets 4 New Members In Latest College Sports Shuffle
Big 12 Gets 4 New Members In Latest College Sports Shuffle
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