Report: Big 12 Looking To Expand With UCF, Cincinnati, Houston And BYU

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be pursuing a 12-team expansion to prepare for the departure of Texas and Oklahoma. The exodus of the conference's two marquee programs will drop the number of Big 12 teams to eight — the lowest among Power Five conferences.

Max Olson of The Athletic broke the news on Thursday. Many had anticipated that the Big 12 would attempt their own expansion after all the SEC and alliance talk from the past couple of months. On their list of potential additions are UCF, Cincinnati, BYU and Houston.

Bowlsby's announcement read:

"Following two days of consultation with the athletics directors of the continuing members of the Big 12 Conference, the eight athletic directors remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league. Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the conference.”

OU and UT are bound to the Big 12 until 2025 due to television agreements, but their goodbyes will likely come years early.

Bowlsby has been in the hot seat among executives in the Big 12 after his desperate bids and discussions failed to retain Texas and Oklahoma. With tentative plans to include UCF, BYU, Cincinnati and Houston, Bowlsby is temporarily quelling fears of staying relevant until the big bad SEC arrives.

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Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan. Known for having watched every movie and constant craving for dessert. @alejandroaveela (on X)