The New Big 12 will be born in the Summer of 2023, after all, if today’s reporting from TheAthletic about the three schools departing from the AAC having reached a deal to that effect, is true. From Twitter:
Cincinnati, Houston and UCF have reached agreement on a deal to exit the AAC and join the Big 12 in the summer of 2023, sources tell @TheAthletic. Announcements coming soon.— Max Olson (@max_olson) June 10, 2022
Adding today’s news to what we already knew about BYU joining in 2023, and we are looking at a 14-team league starting that year ... unless OU and UT (or, more likely, someone on their behalf) pony up enough to flee southeast in that time period. The idea that they (specifically UT) would have to travel to Provo or Orlando to play one or two seasons in this new arrangement is so enjoyable to me, though, that I kinda hope they don’t.
With that issue still unresolved, how the Big 12 starts to schedule things in 2023 and beyond is still up in the air (Do we need divisions now? Protected rivals or set rotations?), as is further potential expansion, which some people continue to believe is going to happen. But if this report is true (and I have no reason to believe it isn’t), it marks another big step forward for the Big 12 Conference in negotiating future rights agreements, solidifying the Conference’s image into the future, and figuring out how to tackle an increasingly difficult competitive landscape.
UPDATE: Take this with a grain of salt considering the source (of the info, not the tweet), but this would not surprise me.
One high-ranking Texas source tells me now that 2024 is still a more realistic target date for Texas and OU to join the SEC early. So Horns, Sooners teams likely going to Provo, Houston, Cincy, Orlando in 2023.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) June 10, 2022
UPDATE 2: This would appear to be pretty solid confirmation coming from an official account.