If Texas and Oklahoma were to remain in the Big 12 conference through their 2025 contract, they could potentially be a part of a divisional split for three seasons.
According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Big 12 is engaged in plans to split into two seven-team divisions beginning in 2023. It would be a temporary restructure of a 14-team league before Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC.
“Big 12 athletic directors — including those from conference newcomers BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — met last month in Las Vegas to begin deciding how the league will look for three seasons (2023-25) ahead of Texas and Oklahoma departing for the SEC,” according to Dodd’s report.
Big 12 engaged in plans to split into two seven-team divisions beginning in 2023 amid realignmenthttps://t.co/MAxmhqtHuz
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) January 18, 2022
Texas and Oklahoma could decide to pay the early exit fee and head to the SEC before this happens, but the fee is estimated to be nine-figures.
In summary, the Big 12 could see an expansion to 14 teams ahead of the 2023 season, and then it would shrink to 12 teams (six-team divisions) beginning in 2026 when the Longhorns and Sooners depart.
Any league with more than 12 teams is required to split into divisions for football, according to NCAA rules.
Here’s Dodd’s projection of how the Big 12 could look if the expansion were to happen in 2023:
Big 12 North
Big 12 South