The Big 12 and expansion are practically synonymous at this point in time.
The conference that was once caught off guard by losing Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC has been ultra proactive to ensure their future.
Led by Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark’s efforts, the conference has been able to secure a media rights deal and also added four teams to try and make up for losing their two premier programs. On top of the four schools that they have added in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF, it was reported on Friday that the Big 12 is looking to add more programs.
The belief is that they are targeting programs such as the Pac-12’s “four corner” schools consisting of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah.
There have also been connections between them and programs such as Gonzaga and UConn. Yormark was quoted expressing that the conference is still focusing on expanding, and specifically mentioned the importance of basketball.
Big 12's Brett Yormark: "We had a great discussion about expansion & have a plan. We have an appetite to be a national conference. We believe in upside of basketball. … If opportunity presents itself to create value, we will pursue (expansion). it is a focus of ours"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 2, 2023
While the Big 12 is circling the Pac-12 programs like sharks, appearing to wait for one program to commit to leaving the conference, it is clear that the conference is also looking at schools that will bring more depth basketball wise.
If the Big 12 is able to add UConn and Gonzaga, it would be adding two of the more successful programs in the country, while essentially being in every single region in the country as well. In a college sports world that once had all signs pointing to two super conferences, the Big 12 is doing their best to ensure that they are not left behind.