The conference may add four schools.
The Big 12 Conference, a group of ten colleges and universities that will soon see its membership dropping to eight schools, may be springing back to a 12-member conference. Brigham Young University, the University of Houston, the University of Central Florida and the University of Cincinnati want to join the group which is seeing the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma exiting for the Southeastern Conference. Big-time college sports still tries to sell amateurism but it’s a huge business worth billions of dollars. College and university presidents and chancellors may sprout something about how student-athletes can get an education but at the end of the day, those presidents and chancellors and the board of trustees care about more money and win and loss records. More than likely none of the leaders at three of the four schools jumping into the Big 12 care about joining a business based in Irving, Texas. There could be groups at those schools who will be involved in protesting changes in voting and abortion laws in Texas but the poohbahs of sport look at the bottom line. It will be easier for three of those schools to get into the college football playoffs being affiliated with the Big 12 than the American Athletic Conference. BYU was an independent school. The Big 12 will survive.
Where does the American Athletic Conference go from here? That is a good question but college conferences come and go. The Big East went into the football business in 1991 but the conference began losing school in 2005 and was out of the football business by 2012. The American Athletic Conference was formed with What was left of the Big East football playing schools. Television calls a lot of the shots in college sports even though the TV executives would publicly deny that. Meanwhile, the Big 12 survives.
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