While “The Alliance” elected not to proceed with any expansion, the Big 12 is making plans to stave off any outside interest and bolster a conference in desperate need of stabilization.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde reported today that BYU, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF will likely be applying for Big 12 membership within a week, with all eight Big 12 votes in favor of accepting the four to create a new 12-team Big 12.
The arrival of the four schools is expected to be in 2023 or 2024, with the possibility of Oklahoma and Texas still competing in the conference for a few seasons.
The Big 12 moved quickly in the expansion process, a four-person subcommittee was formed to discuss potential expansion recently, and the four schools from the Group of Five level were highlighted as potential fits.
According to Mark Berman, sports director at Fox 26 KRIV in Houston, the Big 12 presidents will hold a conference call on Monday to further discuss potential expansion and could even issue invitations to Houston, BYU, UCF and Cincinnati. It appears likely now with the new information from Dellenger and Forde that invitations will be offered soon.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 3, 2021
BYU is currently aligned as an independent in college football, boasting a strong team on an annual basis, while the basketball is aligned with the West Coast Conference. The trio of Houston, UCF and Cincinnati are in the AAC, with Cincinnati ranked ninth in the preseason AP Poll.