Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few minutes/hours/days, you know that the Big 12 has decided to expand into three new states by adding BYU, UCF, and Cincinnati, as well as ... Houston, for reasons. That decision became formal today, as the Big 12 announced it would accept the applications submitted by those four schools and reciprocate with invitations, which were then (or are soon to be) accepted by the schools. It all sounds a lot more complicated than it really is, and in reality, once it became known to the general public (including yours truly) that those were the schools being targeted, it was already almost certainly a done deal. Now it is. And the general sentiment is that the plan for the New Big 12 Conference is to start play in the Fall 2023 in all sports, meaning those schools will more than likely join in July 2023.
Let’s get right to the reactions from Twitter, since that’s what we’re all here for. I’m happy to say that our new cohorts seem extremely excited about joining the Conference, a welcome change from those more interested in attempting to destroy it in whatever way possible. We’re involved in a lively discussion with UCF’s SB Nation account, Black & Gold Banneret, as we speak. So far they’ve only alluded to the Fiesta Bowl once, which is still too many times but less than I expected.
First with the more formal stuff:
The announcement you’ve all been waiting for…— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) September 10, 2021
Big 12 Extends Membership Invitationshttps://t.co/YLZFxp0N48
First look at the NEW Big12 pic.twitter.com/y1bz9nauuo— Barstool Cincinnati (@UCBarstool) September 10, 2021
Note: this release mentions 2023, but this is for BYU, which is currently independent and has more flexibility. That being said, they’re all coming in 2023. Book it.
Now the less-formal, more opinion-based stuff (except where based in fact like about how good the New Big 12 Conference actually is, contrary to the #narratives):
Happy Big 12 expansion day.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 10, 2021
Today is a big win for the conference from where it was six weeks ago. BYU Is a big national draw that will open new time slots. UCF and Cincinnati could compete for conference championships from Day 1.
Bob Bowlsby recovered nicely.
BYU, Cincinnati, Houston & UCF’s 1st season in Big 12 will be 2023, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. That allows new members to play in conference 2 years w/Oklahoma & Texas still there - unless OU & UT get out early to SEC— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 10, 2021
Fun stat: The new Big 12 (minus Texas/OU + BYU/ Cincinnati/Houston/UCF) would've ranked as the strongest overall league last year in average F+ ranking.— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) September 10, 2021
Yes, even better than the SEC.
Reminder: The Big 12 has objectively been the best men’s basketball conference more years than not in the past decade/since the last major bout of realignment. pic.twitter.com/xygcnQNEQg— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) September 10, 2021
What does Big 12 membership mean for BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF? Why did this happen so quickly?— Sam Khan Jr. (@skhanjr) September 10, 2021
Insights from @max_olson, @Williams_Justin, @NicoleAuerbach, @ChrisVannini and me in our updated news story @TheAthletic https://t.co/HBngjVUtzH
The new Big 12 will be pretty fun. Pretend it’s not “the Big 12” made-for-TV lost-and-found, and just take it as a pretty good league that won’t have a dominant team and should be open season every year. That’s fun!— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) September 10, 2021
- Oklahoma winning SEC games: fun— Jason Kirk, big The Alliance fan (@thejasonkirk) September 10, 2021
- Texas losing SEC games: fun
- The new Big 12 being up for grabs pretty much every year: fun
Hooray all around. Who cares how much more/less money whichever admins makehttps://t.co/UaeeYO0rs7
Here's the letter UCF sent to the Big 12 asking to apply to the league. pic.twitter.com/VPLPtwNTGa— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) September 10, 2021
See? July 2023.
And now the silly stuff:
Can't wait! We'll make sure to show y'all a good time. pic.twitter.com/yCNUBUSbPa— Black & Gold Banneret (@UCF_Banneret) September 10, 2021
Not talked about enough: the Big 12 will take a come from behind 2-1 lead over the Pac-12 in number of Cougars. pic.twitter.com/YGPqO4C8wr— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 10, 2021
Jesus had the original Big 12. People forget that.— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) September 10, 2021
Seems like a good place to end for now.