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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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    Big 12 reloads with additions of BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston

    Ralph D. Russo

    With Oklahoma and Texas on the way out, the Big 12 announced Friday it has invited BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to join the Power Five conference and said it has not ruled out further expansion in the future.

    The eight continuing members of the Big 12 unanimously approved applications from the four schools that sought membership after the league learned the Sooners and Longhorns will leave for the Southeastern Conference no later than July 2025.

    Formal approval of the invites was pending on some campuses, but the expansion is all but done.

    In fact, BYU said all its sports will begin Big 12 schedules in the 2023-24 athletic season. BYU is an independent in football, but competes in the West Coast Conference for basketball and so-called Olympic sports like track and swimming.

    Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said current American Athletic Conference teams UCF, Cincinnati and Houston will join no later than July 1, 2024, but said he “certainly wouldn’t foreclose” on the possibility of them coming in a year earlier with BYU.

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