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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

It was announced on Wednesday that all four new additions to the Big 12 conference for the academic year 2023-’24 will join.

With the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners still part of the conference until the last for the 2025-’26 calendar year, there would be a total of 14 teams. Given that college football only plays 12 regular-season games, it would be impossible to maintain the round-robin style of scheduling.

As we look to project the Big 12 into 2023 and beyond, Longhorns Wire looks at how it can break it all down.

  • Probably a nine-match conference schedule
  • Three non-conference matches
  • Rotary Cross Division Matches
  • Oklahoma joins the North, Texas joins the South to help with the transition to a 12-team league after leaving the SEC

Here’s a look at the full Big 12 North / South potential outline:

Big 12 North: Cincinnati Beercats

Bob Meyer-USA TODAY Sports

The new Big 12 North Division begins with the defending AAC champions, the Cincinnati Bearcats.

2021 record: 13-1

Head Coach: Luke Fickell

Big 12 North: Iowa State Cyclones

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa State Cyclones return to the Northern Division where they stayed during the start of the Big 12 conference until realignment in 2012.

2021 Record: 7-6

Head Coach: Matt Campbell

Big 12 North: Kansas Jayhawks

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks are the next team to return to the North Division.

2021 Record: 2-10

Head coach: Lance Leipold

Big 12 North: Kansas State Wildcats

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas State Wildcats would return to the Big 12 North with their opponents in the state, the Jayhawks.

2021 Record: 8-5

Head coach: Chris Klieman

Big 12 North: Oklahoma Sooners

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

CHRIS LANDSBERGER / THE OKLAHOMAN

In this issue of the Big 12, we move the Sooners to the North Division.

2021 record: 11-2

Head Coach: Brent Venables

Big 12 North: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma State Cowboys would join the other half of the Bedlam rival, Oklahoma to keep this rival intact.

2021 Record: 12-2

Head Coach: Mike Gundy

Big 12 North: West Virginia Mountaineers

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

When the West Virginia Mountaineers first joined the Big 12, there were no divisions, but we projected them to the North Division for the new appearance conference.

2021 Record: 6-7

Head Coach: Neal Brown

Big 12 South: Baylor Bears

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

We kick off the South Division re-alignment with the defending Big 12 Champions, the Baylor Bears. They were originally in the South when the conference was formed.

2021 Record: 12-2

Head Coach: Dave Aranda

Big 12 South: Brigham Young Cougars

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The BYU Cougars is the first new addition to the new South Division.

2021 record: 10-3

Head Coach: Kalani Sitake

Big 12 South: Central Florida Knights

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Next to join the Big 12 South is the Central Florida Knights.

2021 record: 9-4

Head coach: Gus Malzahn

Big 12 South: Houston Cougars

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Dana Holgorsen returns to the Big 12 as the head coach of the Houston Cougars. They join the South Division along with AAC conference teams Cincinnati and UCF.

2021 Record: 12-2

Head coach: Dana Holgorsen

Big 12 South: Texas Longhorns

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Mikala Compton USA TODAY NETWORK

The Texas Longhorns return to the South Division and it’s purely strategic with Oklahoma in the north. When the teams leave for the SEC, the North and South divisions remain equal with six teams each.

2021 Record: 5-7

Head Coach: Steve Sarkisian

Big 12 South: Texas Christian Horned Frogs

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Like WVU, the TCU Horned Frogs joins the conference without any divisional alignment. The Frogs join the South along with the rest of the Texas teams.

2021 Record: 5-7

Head coach: Sonny Dykes

Big 12 South: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Project what a 14-team Big 12 conference might look like

Associated Press Photo / Brad Tollefson

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are one of the original eight teams of the Big 12 conference. They will return to their original division in the South.

2021 Record: 7-6

Head Coach: Joey McGuire

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