The Big 12 is officially poised to add BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and the University of Central Florida to its ranks just over a week after it indicated it was planning to expand. Presidents and chancellors from the eight other continuing members unanimously approved the additions in a vote on Friday, and all four schools accepted their invitations shortly thereafter, the conference announced.
The new teams are expected to join the conference by the 2024-25 season at the latest — BYU, which is an independent school in football — will join for the 2023-24 season. The news comes less than two months after powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma announced they are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC by July 2025, so there could be a couple of years of overlap with the new teams, leading to a temporary 14-team league.
UCF, Houston and Cincinnati are currently all part of the American Athletic Conference. The schools are required to give 27-month notice should they want to exit, and would each pay a $10 million exit fee. If they were to leave sooner, they could pay an increased penalty. (BYU is in the West Coast Conference for sports other than football).
Cincinnati and BYU each sponsor men’s and women’s teams in swimming & diving, while Houston sponsors a women’s-only team. UCF doesn’t have a swimming & diving program.
The Big 12’s decision to add teams comes shortly after the Pac-12 Conference announced that it is not seeking to expand from its current 12-school membership.