Big 12 looking at two football divisions for 2023 season, per report

Report: Big 12 looking at two football divisions for 2023 season

With Oklahoma and Texas soon departing for the SEC, the Big 12 is expected to have a different look.

According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, the Big 12 might split into two seven-team football divisions beginning in 2023. BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will eventually join the Big 12's remaining schools

A supposed 14-team league was devised under the assumption that both OU and Texas will remain in the Big 12 until television contracts expire in 2025 and that new members would join the league ahead of the 2023-24 athletic year.

The Big 12 would have 14 teams for two seasons from 2023-25. According to Dodd, the league would revert to 12 teams in football with separate six-team divisions in 2026 once the Sooners and Longhorns depart for the SEC.

The return to division winners playing in the Big 12 Championship Game would be a first for the league since 2010.

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Cardinals' Baker suffers concussion

Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker was carted off the field and ruled out with a concussion during the third quarter of Monday night's NFC wild-card playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams.

Baker collided with Rams running back Cam Akers. Immediately after the helmet-to-helmet hit, Baker lay motionless as Akers made gestures toward him.

The stadium quieted and players gathered around Baker as medical personnel loaded him on the cart. Akers gave Baker what seemed to be a friendly tap as he left the field.

The Cardinals said Baker was alert, communicative and had movement and feeling in his extremities before he was transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle has fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and passing game coordinator Andre Curtis, the team said Tuesday.

BROWNS: Malik McDowell's big chance with the Cleveland Browns has almost certainly ended.

The defensive tackle with a long history of off-field trouble is highly unlikely to be retained as an exclusive rights free agent in March because of his latest brush with the law, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday.

McDowell, 25, was arrested Monday by the Broward Sheriff’s Office on complaints of exposing himself in public, resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer in Deerfield Beach, Florida, according to court records.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel first reported the arrest.

The Browns will continue to gather facts surrounding the arrest, the person familiar with the situation said, but the incident is expected to result in the franchise moving on from McDowell. His one-year contract with the Browns is set to officially expire at 4 p.m. March 16, when free agency begins.

Bruins to retire O'Ree's jersey number

Willie O’Ree has experienced many honors during his lifetime, from becoming the NHL's first Black player in 1958 with the Boston Bruins to being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.

But the 86-year-old says having his No. 22 jersey retired in Boston on Tuesday will rank right up there near the top.

“It was something that I’ve never dreamed of,” O’Ree said in a phone interview Monday. “I was very fortunate to be called up to the Bruins in 1958 and played with them ’60 and '61. And then all of a sudden, to find out that my jersey is going to be retired and to hang in the rafters there with the local icons and legends that are up there at the present time — it’s just simply amazing.”

O’Ree had his pioneering moment on Jan. 18, 1958, when he suited up against the Montreal Canadiens. He'll be the 12th player in Bruins history to have his number raised to the rafters.

Extra points

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: After winning the program's fifth Women's College World Series title last spring, OU begins the 2022 season atop the preseason poll.

Oklahoma State, coming off the 12th WCWS appearance in program history, comes in at No. 3, behind No. 2 Alabama.

UCLA is No. 4, followed by Florida, Florida State, Washington, Arkansas, Texas and Missouri.

The Sooners, who set an NCAA record with 161 home runs last season, open their season Feb. 10 at UC-Santa Barbara. OU plays its first 15 games on the road before opening its home slate March 7 against Minnesota at Marita Hynes Field.

The Cowgirls open their season Feb. 10 at Arizona State. OSU also plays its first 15 games away from home before opening its home slate with a doubleheader vs. Stanford on March 4.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Kentucky has made the hire of Mike Stoops official, according to the Courier Journal. Stoops, who will coach inside linebackers, is the brother of Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops. Mike Stoops is a former defensive coordinator at Oklahoma. ...

Former Florida State quarterback Chubba Purdy announced his decision to transfer to Nebraska on Monday. Purdy is the second quarterback headed to Nebraska through the transfer portal.

Casey Thompson, a former Southmoore and Newcastle high school star, announced his move from Texas on Jan. 7. ...

Onetime Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson is returning to the Tigers, becoming coach Dabo Swinney's first player taken from the NCAA transfer portal. Johnson had been with Northwestern the past four seasons. He announced his decision to return to Clemson on Monday.

Staff and wire reports

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Big 12 looking at two football divisions for 2023 season