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BYU To Apply For Big 12 Membership, According To Report

Sep 3, 2021, 3:06 PM
Big 12 Conference logo...
The Big 12 Conference wasn't shy about pulling out attendance numbers against the Pac-12. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – BYU might be a member of the Big 12 Conference sooner rather than later.

Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde report that BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston are expected to apply for Big 12 membership. Then leading to Big 12 Presidents voting on the membership of those four schools on Friday, September 10.

To approve a new member, eight votes are needed. Texas and Oklahoma, which are set to go to the SEC in 2025, still vote in these league decisions.

If approved, then the question would become, when does BYU get into the Big 12 Conference?

Earlier this week, the Big 12 Conference wrapped up meetings with athletic directors and its TV partners discussing their league’s “long-term strength.” As more reports come out, the picture gets clearer that the Big 12 Conference needs to expand, and unlike previous rounds of expansion, they are acting fast this time.

BYU in the Big 12 in 2022?

The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy was on the Cougar Tracks Podcast on Friday and he said that BYU could potentially join the Big 12 in 2022. However, for BYU to join the Big 12 in 2022, they would have to rearrange their Independent schedules.

BYU currently has 11 games scheduled for the 2022 season.

McMurphy also told KSL Sports that the membership for Big 12 expansion came down to eight teams. BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Boise State, USF, Memphis, and SMU. The Cougars and three of the top programs from the AAC stood out above the rest because of fan base size, history, and potential eyeballs in future TV deals.

Since 2011, BYU has been an FBS Independent after being a founder member of the Mountain West Conference in 1999. Last season, BYU posted its best season in nearly 25 years, going 11-1 and finishing No. 11 in the final AP Top 25 poll.

BYU opens the 2021 football season on Saturday night against the Arizona Wildcats in Las Vegas at 8:30 p.m. (MT).

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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