Whether it be July 1, 2025, or sometime before then, the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns will exit the conference that they’ve called home since its inception in 1994.
With them, the Red River rivals will take a large chunk of the Big 12’s trophies and awards, the premiere rivalry of the conference, and the national name recognition that comes with the two iconic athletic programs. Even Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 Commissioner for just a while longer, admits that that won’t be easy to overcome.
”You don’t just move on without any impact of losing Oklahoma and Texas,” Bowlsby said.
Since then, the conference has secured four new members, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF, to try and offset the loss of the two powerhouse programs. Nobody knows what the future of the Big 12 holds, but those involved are very excited.
Bob Bowlsby was happy about the results of said survey, which was conducted over nine months and included focus groups in the heart of Big 12 country.
”It’s the only presentation I’ve seen of its kind where they got applause at the end of it,” Bowlsby said. “That says a lot. Our group is sort of jaded as you know. It takes a lot to get them to cheer.”
”That presentation was very exciting to the board members,”said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec, according to The Dallas Morning News. “Very encouraging.”
”There was a survey of those who watch and engage in sports,” Schovanec said. “There is a slight dip in the perception of the league. We think that’s going to be very temporary. But our new conference is very strong in the 18-44-year-old bracket. We think that bodes very well for the future.”
In the end, Big 12 leadership feels good about where the conference is headed, even without Texas and Oklahoma.
“I think what we found out in large measure is that, both inside the Big 12 footprint and outside the Big 12 footprint, our membership going forward is viewed very positively,” Bowlsby said.