A person briefed on the league’s talks told Granthshala Sports that the Big 12 Conference has been finalized on the four schools joining the league and the process is rapidly moving towards becoming official.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the league’s deliberations.
The four schools – Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston – currently represent the most attractive choices among teams playing in the Group of Five conferences.
With the Big 12’s rapid rebuilding effort amid widespread uncertainty after losing Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, an official addition of these four events could happen within days, the person said.
BYU is a historical force that currently plays independently as a Football Bowl subdivision. Last year’s team won 11 games and competed for a spot in the freshman year’s Six Bowl slate of games involving the college football playoffs.
The remaining three schools major in the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati reached New Year’s Six in 2020 as the top-ranked team from Group of Five. UCF and Houston have also reached the New Year’s Six Bowls since the advent of the playoff format.
While BYU has a national appeal, American’s three additions will propel the Big 12 into the larger markets of Ohio and Florida and give the league a foothold in the Houston market.
Adding these schools would bring Big 12 membership to a dozen schools, the most for the league since Colorado and Nebraska lost to the Pac-12 and Big Ten, respectively, in 2011.
In late July, Sooners and Longhorn surprised the college football world by announcing their intention to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC. Since then, both schools have stated that they will honor the current grant of the Big 12’s media rights deal, which expires in 2025, before becoming members of the SEC.
Those departures left the Big 12 with eight committed schools: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
Follow college reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg