The remaining eight Big 12 programs have unanimously voted to accept the Houston Cougars, UCF Knights, BYU Cougars, and Cincinnati Bearcats into the Big 12. This move almost had to be completed for the conference to continue to operate after the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners leave for the SEC. The impact of their decision will continue to impact college sports at several levels. Now the AAC is losing three programs and will also be looking to expand in a similar manner.
BYU will enter the Big 12 in 2023. Houston, Cincinnati, UCF will be in by 2024, possibly as early as 2023. As we explained last week, the Big 12 did not want to potentially be down to 8 if OU and Texas left earlier.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 10, 2021
Bob Bowlsby is emphasizing the fertile recruiting areas that the Big 12 added today. “We will gain as much as we can possibly gain on the football field. We will arguably be the best basketball conference in the country.”
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) September 10, 2021
Bob Bowlsby had bold words about the additions and he could be proved right about them down the road. The basketball programs being added are some of the best in the country and the football programs aren’t bottom feeders. This seems to be the best option available unless they decided to dissolve the conference altogether. One program that was debated, but didn’t join was the Memphis Tigers.
Memphis missing out on the Big 12 is a big story today, another one is Temple.
Owls are now left in a conference that has ZERO ties to their history & tradition.
*Football is a combined 24-21 post Matt Rhule.
*Basketball is battling for relevance after years of dominating A10. https://t.co/geWbmWgOrK
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 10, 2021
While it is always possible more programs get added later for now it doesn’t seem likely. The AAC will now have to shift focus and look to add programs so their conference doesn’t fall apart. College sports will look very different by 2023 and even more so in 2025.