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Big 12 AD Gives Update On Football Divisions, Number Of League Games

Feb 4, 2022, 8:06 PM | Updated: 8:07 pm
Big 12 Conference logo...
LAWRENCE, KS - SEPTEMBER 03: A general view of the Big 12 logo on the pylon during a college football game between the South Dakota Coyotes and Kansas Jayhawks on Sep 3, 2021 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The look of the new Big 12 Conference has a lot of moving pieces involved. Sorting through all of it is a timely process, but answers are coming soon for BYU’s future league home.

Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor provided an update on the direction the Big 12 Conference is moving in for the league’s new era.

Taylor, who has been the AD at K-State since 2017, participated in a “Ask the AD” segment on K-State’s official website. The question to Taylor started with when the four new teams in BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston join the conference.

Big 12 divisions

“Yeah, so we pretty much believe that everybody, the new members are going to be in the 23-24 season. So we’ll have 14 schools in 23-24 and 24-25 and then we’ll go back to 12,” Taylor said. “Right now, we’re working on the various scheduling options. In football, we will do divisional play. We don’t know what those divisions will look like yet because to host a championship, you have to have more than 10 teams. You have to do divisions.”

Since the Big 12 officially extended membership to the four new schools, divisions have been a consistent piece to the plans of the league when the new members join. Interestingly, this comes at a time when the Big Ten Conference is considering a move away from divisions altogether.

The mention of UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston being in place for the 2023-24 season means they would be paying a buyout with the American Athletic Conference.

Number of conference games

“We have some folks working on the basketball schedules and how many games and all that. We think right now we’re focused on nine conference games in football, I think 18 in the two basketballs, and so we’re just really starting to have those conversations. We’re getting a little deeper as to what that looks like,” said Taylor. “Our goal is to present this as an AD group to each other to vote on in our March meetings or talk about in March meetings and vote on final approval of those divisions in May. But it has been talked about and that’s kind of the plan right now.”

A nine-game conference schedule would leave three non-conference games for Big 12 teams. That’s already a common practice in the current iteration of the league. This would give the Big 12 Conference the chance to increase its TV revenue with additional conference inventory while also realizing non-conference games against P5 competition will be harder to come by with the “Alliance.”

“For us, we have a great situation where we played nine. We have the 10th game being a Power Five non-conference opponent, and we like that makeup right now. If teams go to eight, that could open up some opportunities for other teams. But if the Pac-12 and the Big Ten and the ACC make this alliance, then there are going to be fewer teams to be able to find those games. So we have to consider all that when we talk about it.”

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 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper. 

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