According to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF are moving forward with the plan to join the Big 12 Conference for the 2023-24 academic year.
BYU, the fourth joining member of the Big 12, has already announced its intentions to leave the WCC for the Big 12 in 2023-24.
While there are still obstacles to get past, Houston, Cinci, and UCF operating as 2022-23 will be their last season as members of the American Athletic Conference.
AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco made headlines back in March when he told the Houston Chronicle that each departing school would need to pay an extra $35 million on top of the $10 million exit fee.
Since then, the parties have made some progress in negotiations as Aresco explained back on March 12.
“We’re talking,” Aresco said to OwlsDaily. “We think we’ve made some progress. A couple of things I would point out, though, that I think are important to note. One is we don’t have to talk to anyone. We’re not required to. Our bylaws are very clear, and we strongly support bylaws being enforced. Because otherwise, college conferences collapse in terms of how they run and how they operate. So we’re a strong proponent of that.
“And we’ve told our new members that they come in when the others leave, in all likelihood. We wouldn’t take them unless they had a right to leave. And they’re fine with that. They fully understand it. They’re totally on board with that.”
With Oklahoma and Texas seemingly sticking around until the 2025-26 season, the Big 12 will be a 14-team conference for a couple of years, making for an interesting timeline in this conference’s history, but that is its own can of worms.
In less than 15 months, the Big 12 will look and feel completely different, as the conference will have the largest footprint of any in college athletics, spanning from Provo (UT) to Orlando (FL). That in and of itself will provide a new mess of issues, however, it appears that the wheels are turning on the new-look Big 12 Conference and that makes for an exciting future.