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Big 12 expansion FAQ: Timeline, what new teams add, Texas-Oklahoma impact and more

  • College football reporter
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
  • Graduate of Indiana University

  • College football reporter.
  • Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
  • Graduate of Northwestern University.

The Big 12 is ready to expand. In response to Texas and Oklahoma heading off to the SEC (possibly not until 2025), the Big 12 presidents and chancellors voted Friday to accept four teams into the conference: Cincinnati, Houston and UCF from the American Athletic Conference, and independent BYU.

The move comes less than two months after Big 12 co-founders Oklahoma and Texas announced they would join the SEC by July 1, 2025, leaving the future of the remaining eight schools in the Big 12 in a precarious position.

Here is a look at where things stand, when those teams could join their new league and what they would add to a conference in desperate need of fortification.

What is the most realistic timeline for Big 12 expansion?

AAC bylaws, which govern Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, require schools to give a 27-month notice before they leave and pay a $10 million buyout fee. In that scenario, joining by the 2023 season would be a long shot. But an earlier exit and a higher buyout is always a possibility, which could move the timeline up. With the Big 12 presidents and chancellors officially voting the three schools in, the clock should start ticking and the lawyers would start working.

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