Next week, the Big 12 plans to discuss the future of the conference regarding its expansion, per Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.
Houston, Cincinnati and UCF are expected to join the Big 12 in the 2023–24 academic year, potentially joining the conference before Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC by the ’25 academic year.
Per The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, the American Athletic Conference still has to sign off on the three schools exit. The process so far has been amicable.
“No agreement has been reached to permit the three (UCF, Houston, Cincinnati) to leave early,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco told Auerbach. “Our negotiations are continuing.”
Though their joining was already expected, the negotiations are expected to be finalized in the next week, according to Dellenger. BYU will also be joining the Big 12 in all sports, not just football.
There is a possibility that there will be 14 teams in the Big 12 during the 2023 and ’24 seasons. Conference officials will be meeting next week to discuss how a larger team pool could work, examining all possibilities including divisions and whether there should be eight or nine league games.
See here and here for some background. An early exit from the AAC by UH, UCF, and Cincinnati might hasten the arrival of its new members as well. Thing might be slightly less complicated if UT and OU are able to officially join the SEC in time for the 2023 season – which I have always thought would happen – but that’s a different domino. I feel like now that this one is in motion, the rest may follow, but we’ll see.