Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark expressed interest in expanding the conference westward during a visit to future member Cincinnati.
“The Big 12 is open for business,” Yormark said. “Obviously, going out West is where I would like to go, entering that fourth time zone.”
- Yormark vowed to vet “every option possible to further enhance this conference.”
- However, conference expansion is not imminent.
- If the Big 12 does expand, it aims to add “a program that has national recognition.”
The Big 12 will be losing Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC in 2025 and is preparing to add four new members.
In September 2021, the conference’s continuing members voted unanimously to invite four schools to join the conference: Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, and BYU.
Three of those programs — Houston, UCF, and Cincinnati — are working on a settlement to leave the AAC on July 1, 2023, which would be a year ahead of schedule.
In June, the Big 12 announced it will distribute a record $426 million in revenue to its 10 current members for the 2021-22 academic year, marking the first growth in revenue for the conference in two years. The distribution amount is a nearly 20% increase from the year prior.
The bump was attributed to the return of fans to stadiums following pandemic restrictions.