Four new schools to join Big 12 for 2023-2024 academic year
April 28, 2022
The Big 12 Conference expanded last year. With the addition of four new members, the league is starting to look a bit different. According to Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com, the four new members of the Big 12 are Central Florida, Houston, Cincinnati, and Brigham Young.
The league may have 14 members for two years. This school year will be the last year with a 10-team division.
In September 2021, the Big 12 announced that the four new members would be joining the league no later than 2024-25. However, in 2023, Brigham Young announced that it would be joining the Big 12 and pushed the expected timeline.
According to Big 12 board of directors chairman Lawrence Schovanec, the goal of the expansion was to strengthen and stabilize the conference. With the addition of the four institutions, the league has a solid foundation to continue its success.
"The Big 12 Presidents and Chancellors entered this process with the singular focus to strengthen and stabilize the Conference," noted Schovanec in September last year. "With the addition of these four tradition-rich institutions we have set the Big 12 on a continued path of success. We look forward to having BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston under the Big 12 banner, both athletically and academically."
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby praised the efforts of the league's presidents, chancellors, and athletic directors in quickly approving the applications of the four new members. He noted that the addition of these four institutions will help strengthen and stabilize the league.
Impacts of adding new schools
The addition of the new four members was a response to the departure of Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12. If the four new members join the Big 12, the league's membership will not be at 12 until 2025-26, according to Bowlsby. He noted that the league would return to a division scheduling system for football and eliminate the round-robin in basketball.
Since the expansion of the league to a 10-team conference a decade ago, it has not had a full home-and-away schedule for its men's and women's basketball teams.
About four new teams
Brigham Young University is a private university located in Provo, Utah. It is known for its athletic achievements. The school has won 12 NCAA championships and claimed 296 conference titles.
The University of Central Florida, founded in 1963, is a metropolitan university known for its innovation and for providing quality education at an affordable price. The UCF Knights have won 148 conference championships in 16 varsity sports. In 2017, its football team defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
The University of Cincinnati's athletic teams have won over a hundred conference championships. Its men's basketball team has also won two national championships. During the 2020-21 season, the football team secured a perfect record and was ranked eighth in the 2021 College Football Playoff rankings.
The University of Houston's athletic teams has won 158 conference championships and 17 NCAA titles. Its men's basketball team reached the Final Four during the 2020-21 season.