Less than two months after football heavyweights Texas and Oklahoma decided to leave the Big 12, the conference is set to add four new members as early as next week, according to a report.
The University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, BYU and the University of Cincinnati are expected to apply for Big 12 membership next week, Sports Illustrated reported. Conference officials could approve the schools’ admission as early as Sept. 10, when Big 12 presidents meet, the magazine reported.
Eight votes from the league’s 10 presidents are needed to approve the four schools’ membership.
“Things are moving very quickly,” an unidentified source told ESPN. “There’s obvious momentum to get votes to the board.”
In late July, Texas and Oklahoma announced their intention to bolt from the Big 12 and join the Southeastern Conference in 2025.
UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are dominant members of the American Athletic Conference, USA Today reported. All three schools have played in New Year’s Six bowl slate of games connected with the College Football Playoff, the newspaper reported.
BYU currently plays as a Football Bowl Subdivision independent. Last year’s team won 11 games and also competed for a spot in a New Year’s Day berth. The team also won an NCAA football title after the 1984 season after going undefeated.
UCF, Houston and Cincinnati are required to give a 27-month notice to the AAC and pay a $10 million exit penalty, Sports Illustrated reported. In the current timeline, the teams would give a 23-month notice and likely pay an increased exit fee, the magazine reported. BYU is an independent in football but must give the West Coast Conference notice for its other sports, according to the magazine.
“All of those schools reached out to us,” a Big 12 source that asked for anonymity told ESPN. “It wasn’t like we poached them. They all made the initial communication.”
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby declined to comment Friday.
©2021 Cox Media Group