Report: BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston Have Applied for Big 12 Membership

September 8, 2021

Hours after it was reported that the University of Cincinnati had formerly applied for membership to the Big 12, the remaining Big 12 expansion frontrunners have now, apparently, followed suit.

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported on Wednesday night that BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston have all officially applied for league membership, and that their inclusion may be a no-brainer.

McMurphy is also reporting that Big 12 presidents on Friday will vote to accept all four schools and that a news conference will be held that same day. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported earlier Wednesday that all four schools would get a “rubber stamp” approval by the league’s presidents.

This comes more as a formality than breaking news. All four schools were identified as expansion favorites as early as last week, just days after it was reported that the league looked to stay together and to expand at all.

It was reported last week that the foursome of BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston will join the league by 2023, meaning there is potential for the conference to expand to 14 before Oklahoma and Texas are set to depart for the SEC in 2025.

It’s been a college football-shifting whirlwind since it was first reported in July that the eyes of Texas (and Oklahoma) were wandering toward the Southeast. That move was quickly made official and will take place by at least 2025 when the Big 12’s grant of rights deal expires.

On Monday, Mike Gundy was asked about the four expansion candidates and he shared his thoughts, mainly about his preference to continue league relationships with Texas schools. Houston would at least help alleviate the loss of UT’s footprint in the Lone Star state and keep the number of the league’s Texas schools at four.

Gundy did hint that he might learn some more news about the expansion the same day this report came out.

“I just know some of the stuff you know, maybe Wednesday they’ll tell me a little more,” said Gundy. “But what I will say is this is, I like that our president (Kayse Shrum) is proactive and aggressive. And I like that the conference is trying to come up with different avenues and ways that they can go if something happens. That part I like, but I don’t know a lot about it, so that’s the best I can give you.”

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