COLLEGE SPORTS

Big 12 Expansion ‘Done’ At 16 Teams, Per Brett Yormark

Aug 15, 2023, 9:54 PM

Big 12 Expansion, Brett Yormark, Big 12...

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Brett Yormark told reporters that the league is done with expansion at 16 teams. (Courtesy of the Big 12 Conference)

(Courtesy of the Big 12 Conference)

SALT LAKE CITY – Will Big 12 expansion continue beyond 16 teams? Commissioner Brett Yormark says that is not the plan at the moment.

Yormark spoke with reporters on a Zoom call from the three Pac-12 programs officially invited into the Big 12 on August 4 (Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah).

One of the questions tossed Yormark’s way was if he and the Big 12 Conference were looking to add any more teams from the Pac-12 or other conferences.

Brett Yormark says Big 12 expansion is ‘done’ at 16 teams

Yormark, who hit his first anniversary as Big 12 Commissioner earlier this month, replied, “Right now, we’re done.”

The full transcript of Yormark’s quote is courtesy of Justin Spears from the Tucson Star:

“We had a vision, we had a strategy and effectively we’ve been able to execute it. Initially, I wasn’t sure if we’d go to 14 or 16 (universities). I think 16 was kind of the dream scenario candidly. From our perspective, our focus right now is to integrate the four incoming schools as quick as we can — get them comfortable. We’ve already had a couple of transition calls and Zooms with the corner schools, and I’ll be making some campus visits. That’s my focus right now.”

All four of the Pac-12 schools that are joining the Big 12 will become official in the league on August 2, 2024.

Stabilized the Big 12

Throughout the endless speculation regarding Big 12 expansion, Yormark maintained that he and his board of directors had “a plan” for realignment. It was executed in a way that many thought was impossible initially when reports began trickling out in the summer of 2022 that the four corner schools were targets for the Big 12.

The Big 12 has stabilized its future as a 16-team league in an ever-changing college landscape.

Beginning in 2024, Big 12 Conference membership will consist of Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Colorado, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Utah, and West Virginia.

Expansion talk has cooled down

The expansion talk has cooled down now that the Big 12 added the four Pac-12 programs and the Big Ten landed Oregon and Washington. Expansion talk seems to have cooled down on the east coast as well, with the ACC’s deadline for withdrawal notification passing on Tuesday with no one announcing they are leaving that league that is locked into a Grant of Rights agreement through 2036.

There are still questions about what happens with the remaining four members of the PAC-12 (Stanford, Cal, Oregon State, and Washington State). But it appears that the Big 12 will not be expanding anytime soon with those programs.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Expansion ‘Done’ At 16 Teams, Per Brett Yormark