Brett Yormark is a businessman, a visionary and a cheerleader, and after two years of work, the Big 12 Conference commissioner is spending this weekend focused on the latter. He is on the rooftops shouting “Welcome” to BYU, Houston, Cincinnati and Central Florida as they officially join the Big 12 on Saturday.

“They are a national brand, but they can become a household brand for sure, and we are going to help them like they help the conference.” — Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark on BYU

“I’m really excited. There is incredible momentum,” Yormark said Thursday on “BYU Sports Nation.” “I like to call it ‘bringing in the new Big 12.’ That’s what happens on Saturday. I’m really excited for BYU.”

Former commissioner Bob Bowlsby invited BYU to join the conference on Sept. 10, 2021, and it will be Yormark’s job to admit them.

“They bring big-time value. Big time,” he said of the Cougars. “When we got to the table early with ESPN and Fox, we all knew it was critical to get (a new television deal) to establish stability and certainty for the conference moving forward. BYU was a big part of that conversation with how national they are, the market they bring and a third time zone.

“They brought lots of value, as did the other new schools, but BYU in particular. I think they played a significant role in us getting the deal we did.”

Yormark made his Provo debut last September when the Cougars defeated No. 9 Baylor in double-overtime and he plans to return to LaVell Edwards Stadium for BYU’s Big 12 home opener against Cincinnati on Sept. 29.

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“When I got on campus, I sensed the energy and enthusiasm,” Yormark said. “I’ve grown up a college sports fan and I know the breadth and depth of BYU and Cougar Nation. It’s a big national brand. It fits so perfectly well within our conference footprint. For me, that validation really was the day they accepted their invitation. I’m so thrilled that BYU will be part of the family.”

Growing the conference beyond Texas and Oklahoma, who leave for the SEC next summer, is paramount for Yormark, and that may or may not include expansion.

“I’d like to stay at 14 teams, even after the departures of OU and Texas,” he said. “We’ll see about that. Whatever happens has to truly create value for the conference. When thinking of schools to be added, we have guiding principles for expansion — academics, leadership, cultural fit, geography, athletic performance and brand.”

While building a competitive football league, Yormark senses tremendous economic value ahead for basketball in the Big 12.

“I’ve been very intentional about it. As much as football drives the conference, basketball is part of our future and I think it is very undervalued,” he said. “Geography matters. I want to be a national conference. I’d like to be in all four time zones. When it comes to expansion, I don’t look at P5 vs. Group of Five programs, I look at what does the school bring to the Big 12 and is it additive.”

Yorkmark said the men’s and women’s basketball schedules will be released in August or September.

“We are working with ESPN right now. We are excited about the schedule. It should be an exciting moment and we will amplify it,” he said. “It will be an 18-game conference schedule with each school playing five teams twice and eight teams once.”

As for his overall goals for BYU, Yormark wants the Cougars to be the best version of themselves.

“They are a national brand, but they can become a household brand for sure, and we are going to help them like they help the conference,” he said. “If BYU wins, the conference wins and if the conference wins, BYU wins. I want ESPN and Fox to glamorize all our programs. I’m confident that will happen with BYU.”

For Yormark, the cheerleading will continue up until midnight Friday when the clock strikes midnight and the business begins with BYU, Houston, Central Florida and Cincinnati officially becoming members of the Big 12.

BYU will stage a fanfest-like celebration on the practice fields behind the Student Athletic Building from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday ahead of Stadium of Fire. The public is welcome. Television coverage of the festivities is from 3-5 p.m. on BYUtv.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, center, speaks with outgoing commissioner Bob Bowlsby, left, and Baylor President Linda Livingstone looking on during a news conference opening football Big 12 media days in Arlington, Texas, Wednesday, July 13, 2022. | LM Otero, Associated Press

Dave McCann is a contributor to the Deseret News and is the studio host for “BYU Sports Nation Game Day,” “The Post Game Show,” “After Further Review,” and play-by-play announcer for BYUtv. He is also co-host of “Y’s Guys” at