The Big 12 announced Friday their decision to add BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to the conference no later than the 2024-25 athletic year, bringing the conference back to 12 teams.
Shortly after Pac-12’s decision to deny all expansion following UT and OU’s departure to the SEC, Big 12 Presidents met to discuss the future of the conference.
Following the Friday vote, Chancellor Victor Boschini said the current Big 12 members were united on those four teams joining.
“For the past four weeks, we have been talking about it a lot,” Boschini said. “So, I think that everybody, if they have any questions along the way, they already had them answered.”
Despite the cooperation throughout the conference, the reception of the news on TCU’s campus was anything but warm. According to Boschini, the public was nervous about the change, initially, but once they saw the benefits of the addition, they were excited.
“The more teams you have, the better chance you have at getting into the National Championship,” Boschini said. “Academically, I think it’ll also help because we are bringing some really good schools into the conference.”
However, the addition to the conference does not come with all positives. More teams lead to less time and less money.
“The cool thing about only having 10 teams is that you can all play each other in every sport, home and away,” Boschini said. “The biggest [con] is we will all get a little bit less [money] once everyone joins because you go from 10 to 14 so you have to split the pie.”
As a private University, TCU heavily relies on the funds provided by the Big 12, Boschini said.
“In the Mountain West, we got about $2 million a year. We get $34 million a year in the Big 12. That is a huge difference and so you get used to that. Now, we have to get used to a little bit less,” Boschini said.
The chancellor believes that the pros of expanding the conference largely outweigh the cons as a bigger conference implies more coverage, which is what TCU may need.
“We have been on a quest for about 15 years now to make TCU more of a national brand, not just a good Texas school and we have done that with our student body,” Boschini said. “Now we are going to get out into the Ohio market; Houston, is going to bring us even bigger attention; Central Florida, that’s one of the fastest growing markets in the country.”
When asked about the future of the conference, Boschini said he believes the Big 12 will continue to expand in upcoming years, as all conferences are looking to do the same.
“I don’t think this is the end of all the changes in conferences. I think that this is where we are right now and it’s a good place for us to be,” Boschini said.