The green light has been given for some future Big 12 members to go ahead and join the conference in 2023. And that could expedite the process of seeing a couple of key Big 12 schools make their move to the SEC.
Multiple reports have confirmed Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will join the Big 12, officially, on July 1, 2023. the three schools have been granted permission from the American Athletic Conference to leave for their new conference home, which some believed would be nothing more than a formality as the AAC wasn’t about to hold the schools hostage against their will longer than necessary.
Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will now join the Big 12 at the same time BYU will be joining the conference. All that remains to be determined now is whether or not Texas and Oklahoma will still be around to welcome the new schools to the conference. By all accounts, it appeared as though the move to the SEC for the Longhorns and Sooners wasn’t going to happen until 2025, but that timeline looks more and more unlikely by the day at this point. At least, it should be.
At this point, with the Big 12 getting to welcome its four new members in 2023, the negotiations and power brokers that fuel Texas and Oklahoma (and the SEC) should do whatever it takes to get Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC as soon as possible, meaning 2023. The door appears to be left open by the SEC for that possibility too.
The SEC has been contemplating how to organize its future conference schedules with the additions of Texas and Oklahoma. During the SEC’s recent spring meetings, SEC leaders went back to their respective homes without a decision on the future conference scheduling model. As it stands now, the SEC has its 2023 conference schedule tentatively lined up without dates locked in for matchups, but all of that can be scrapped if the money is right. And when it comes to the SEC, Texas, and Oklahoma, the money will find a way to be right.
NEXT: What does this all mean for the Big Ten?
What does this mean for the Big Ten?
For now, absolutely nothing.
The SEC is just one conference that will be overhauling its conference schedule, which is something every power conference is actively exploring. The Big Ten will likely make changes to its conference scheduling format and conference championship game qualifications as a result, but the moves being made by the Big 12, SEC, and the AAC during this time of conference alignment won’t have much sway on what the Big Ten ultimately decides to do.
While the idea of considering expansion options may be enticing for some around the Big Ten, the realized options just don’t appear to be there for the taking that makes sense for the Big Ten. Outside of Notre Dame, there may not be any real candidates to consider for Big Ten expansion unless the Big Ten was prepared to explore potential options in the ACC as it did with Maryland.
Big Ten expansion is fun to talk about, but we likely won’t be seeing much movement of that needle any time soon.
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