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Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston To Join BYU To Big 12 in 2023

The three AAC programs to pay $18 million in exit fees and join the Big 12 in 2023 with BYU.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

BYU will be joined by Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston entering the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. The three schools have reached exit agreements with the American Athletic Conference to leave the conference in 2023.

Each school will pay an extra $8 million as early exit fees on top of the initial $10 million that had been agreed upon to leave the AAC for the Big 12.

The newcomers received a warm welcome to the conference on social media from current members of the Big 12.


Oklahoma St

Texas Tech

The announcement of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston being invited to the Big 12 came after news broke in 2021 that Oklahoma and Texas, the blue bloods of the conference, were set to leave and join the SEC in 2025. If the Sooners and Longhorns stay until 2025 the conference will have 14 teams the for two years. The two programs may try to leave a year early in 2024 but it is still unknown how that will play out.

From BYU’s perspective it would be beneficial for the Sooners and Longhorns to stay the full two years. It’s not everyday you could have programs of that caliber come to Provo. To have the chance to play either of them at Lavell Edwards Stadium and the Marriott Center for two years would be huge for BYU. Those games would be marquee events in Provo.

It is still undetermined what the conference alignment will look like come 2023. For now, we know the Big 12 will now have four new teams come July 1 2023, the Cougars among them.