Big 12 Football Schedule With BYU Will Reportedly Have No Divisions
SALT LAKE CITY – Earlier this year, former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the 2023 football schedule would be released in October. We’re in October, and still no schedule yet.
Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that the Big 12 schedule could be delayed until January 2023. But the work is coming together to get the schedule in place. There’s a lot of work on the scheduling front as the league will welcome four new members, which includes BYU, beginning on July 1, 2023.
Big 12 is finalizing a scheduling model that features no divisions, protects rivalries & includes Texas & OU in 23 & 24, sources tell @SINow.
Every school would play the other at least once in 2 years, which, yes, means matchups like Houston-UT & OU-Cincy https://t.co/pAtbVJntIO
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 13, 2022
The Big 12 is expected to have Texas and Oklahoma in the league still next year. Both the Horns and Sooners are going to the SEC in 2025, but there have always been talks about a potential early exit. Their future home, the SEC, already released the 2023 schedule without the Big 12’s bell cow brands.
From 10 members to 14 is a big jump for the Big 12, so getting the scheduling right takes time.
SI’s Ross Dellenger reports the model has not been officially adopted
Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger reports that the Big 12 Conference will have a division-less schedule for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Dellenger wrote, “Conference executives agreed to the temporary, two-year format during meetings earlier this week in Dallas, sources tell Sports Illustrated. They have not officially adopted the model and are still finalizing details.”
Earlier this year, Big 12 officials met in Las Vegas and had initially planned on two seven-team divisions when the new members joined. But over this calendar year, Power Five conferences are moving away from divisions to create the best possible championship game matchups.
The Pac-12 ditched divisions this year. On the east coast, the ACC is moving away from divisions to a scheduling pod system.
In a 14-team Big 12 with no divisions, the top two teams would play in the Championship Game, which will continue at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, through 2025.
BYU AD Tom Holmoe prefers no divisions in the Big 12
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe has expressed that he thinks it would be best for the Big 12 not to have divisions.
“For someone that’s not been in a conference for a number of years but has watched and seen what the Big 12 and the various conferences have done with their divisions — or not with the Big 12 –, I think it’s the best thing [to not have divisions],” Holmoe said to SicEm365 Radio in June. “And I look now and see that a number of the other conferences are going without divisions. I feel it’s in the personal best interest of the Big 12 to not have divisions.”
If Texas and Oklahoma remain in the Big 12 through their Grant of Rights that ends June 30, 2025, before they bolt for the SEC, the division-less scheduling format will give each Big 12 member a chance to play everyone at least once in 2023 and 2024. That means BYU could have Oklahoma in Provo or a trip to Norman for the first time in program history.
BYU will open the 2023 season against Sam Houston State, who will be moving up from the FCS ranks to Conference USA. The rest of BYU’s non-conference schedule will include Southern Utah and a road game at Arkansas from the SEC before playing nine games in the Big 12.
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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