The Big 12 Conference could add four more schools before it loses two to the Southeastern Conference.
Cincinnati and UCF officially applied for Big 12 conference membership on Wednesday, with multiple reports suggesting that BYU and Houston will follow. The moves could be approved by a vote as early as Friday.
UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston would be required to pay their current conference, the American Athletic Conference, an exit fee of $10 million and give the AAC 27 months notice, which means they could join the Big 12 by 2023 or 2024 at the latest.
The expansion could answer concerns that have arisen since Texas and Oklahoma were granted SEC membership in July, possibly leaving the Big 12 with eight teams come 2025.
- Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the conference’s TV revenue could be cut in half, with the remaining eight schools potentially missing out on $14 million each year.
- Reports hinted that Kansas and Iowa State were interested in moving to the Big Ten but those were shot down by the conference.
Bowlsby held discussions with the Pac-12 Conference about a merger but said the remaining members of the Big 12 believe it’s the “best opportunity to stay together and find solutions together.”