When the calendar switches to July 1 next year, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will officially join the Big 12.
Halfway through the 2022 season, what future Big 12 team is enjoying the most success in its final year before joining a Power Five program?
Here’s a look at what each school has done so far this season.
- Record: 5-1 overall, 2-0 in American Athletic Conference.
- Rankings: No. 21 in Associated Press poll, No. 19 in USA Today coaches poll, No. 31 in Jeff Sagarin ratings, No. 27 in ESPN Football Power Index.
The Bearcats’ lone loss was by seven points to then-No. 19 Arkansas to kick off the season.
Since then, Cincinnati has won five straight and is in position to earn the automatic Group of Five spot in a New Year’s Six game if it wins out, one year after the program broke into the College Football Playoff.
Cincinnati is coming off a bye, and outside of a close win over South Florida in its last game, the Bearcats have three wins over FBS competition by an average margin of victory of 17.3 points. That includes a 45-24 win over the Big Ten’s Indiana.
Cincinnati has some big tests left, including at UCF on Oct. 29 and at home against No. 25 Tulane on Nov. 25 in the regular-season finale.
- Record: 5-1 overall, 2-0 in AAC.
- Rankings: Receiving votes in both AP and coaches polls, No. 17 in Jeff Sagarin ratings, No. 19 in ESPN FPI.
The Knights have been on a roll over the past month, averaging 44.5 points per game in four straight wins.
UCF’s lone loss came 20-14 to the ACC’s Louisville, while the Knights have beaten another Power Five school, Georgia Tech, in a 27-10 game.
A huge matchup looms on Oct. 29 against Cincinnati — it’s homecoming for UCF — and at Tulane two weeks later, with a game at Memphis in between those two.
- Record: 4-3 overall.
- Rankings: No votes in either AP or coaches polls, No. 57 in Jeff Sagarin ratings, No. 54 in ESPN FPI.
The Cougars are on a two-game skid — losing to Power Five schools Notre Dame and Arkansas — after starting the year 4-1 and beating defending Big 12 champion Baylor in double overtime.
It’s a frustrating stretch for a program that started the year in the Top 25 and had been ranked up until the Notre Dame loss.
BYU has some winnable games left on the schedule, with road contests this week at Liberty, Nov. 5 at Boise State and Nov. 26 at Stanford defining how this season will be viewed.
- Record: 3-3 overall, 1-1 in AAC.
- Rankings: No votes in either AP or coaches polls, No. 64 in Jeff Sagarin ratings, No. 63 in ESPN FPI.
Houston sits at .500 halfway through the season with its toughest matchups behind them — the Cougars fell to a pair of Big 12 programs in Kansas and Texas Tech, including a double-overtime loss to the Red Raiders.
Houston also lost to a ranked Tulane team in overtime.
In the back half of the season, though, the Cougars’ schedule lightens up — the team only faces one team, 4-3 East Carolina, with a winning record. Houston also plays three teams — Temple, Tulsa and South Florida — who are all winless in AAC play.