ARLINGTON, Texas (KSNT)- Conference realignment is a hot topic at the 2022 Big 12 football media days.
Everyone wants to know what the future holds for the Big 12. Houston, UCF, BYU and Cincinnati will join the conference in 2023. Texas and Oklahoma are set to leave the conference the year after. Plus, the recent news of USC and UCLA moving to the Big 10 has sparked even more conference realignment talk.
“With the events of the last couple of weeks, conference composition is once again at the forefront of college athletics,” new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark said.
The Big 12 and its universities’ leaders made it clear the realignment discussion is not going away soon.
“None of us should be naïve enough to think things have settled and calm,” KU athletic director Travis Goff said.
Many Big 12 fans are concerned that USC and UCLA moving conferences could cause a chain reaction. Yormark’s response to the news was slightly different, though.
“I was excited by it in many respects,” Yormark said. “Because I saw there was opportunity.”
That chain reaction isn’t guaranteed, Goff said.
“This could be similar to last year, two valuable instituions and brands making the jump,” Goff said. “Maybe, though, there doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering effect beyond that in this moment in time.”
The impulse response could be to add teams quickly. That’s not necessarily the answer, K-State athletic director Gene Taylor said.
“We have to be strategic about it,” Taylor said. “If that pie doesn’t grow, from a financial perspective, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense to just make the slices a little smaller. We want to make sure the slices are going to be bigger. So, if it makes sense and [new teams] bring value, then yeah, let’s look at that. If it doesn’t, let’s stay as 12.”
For now, priority number one is an upcoming TV rights negotiation, Yormark said.
“Everything we do from this point forward will lead towards that negotiation period,” Yormark said.
The new commissioner knows this: if the Big 12 sits idle, it will be left behind.
“Moments like these do not happen often, and we must seize them and make the most of them,” Yormark said. “It will require incredible work and collaboration. One thing is for sure, there is no doubt, the Big 12 is open for business.”
Read more about KU and K-State football from Big 12 media day here.