As has been widely expected, all four of the teams that accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference last fall — BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF — will reportedly do so at the same time.
On Wednesday, college basketball insider Jon Rothstein first reported that the latter three will join in 2023, joining BYU.
There has been some thought that those three wouldn’t join until 2024, as they’ll each have to pay exit fees to the American Athletic Conference, and those fees go down in price depending on how much advance notice schools give that they’re leaving.
BYU announced the day the four schools joined the Big 12 last September that it would do so in time for the 2023-24 academic year.
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger added to Rothstein’s report on Twitter, saying it was “the expectation” that the AAC schools would join in 2023 and that “negotiations are expected to be finalized in the next week.”
Dellenger added that the “main topic of conversation” at the Big 12’s annual meetings next week will be how to structure a 14-team football league, as the conference is now on track to have that many members until Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC.
The expectation is that Texas and Oklahoma will leave after the 2023-24 academic year, but Dellenger indicated it may not happen until after the 2024-25 academic year.
After the reports from Rothstein and Dellenger, multiple outlets reported a statement from AAC commissioner Mike Aresco in which he said an agreement for Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to leave the conference now has not been reached but that “our negotiations are continuing.”