Big 12 officials are in the process of creating a new scheduling model as the league prepares to expand to 14 teams for the 2023 and 2024 football seasons.
Speaking to reporters at the Big 12 Tipoff, a two-day basketball media event, new commissioner Brett Yormark confirmed that the conference will not utilize divisions for football in 2023 or 2024. He also confirmed that all teams in the conference will play each other at least once during that span, and that existing rivalries will be “preserved.”
The conference will expand to 14 teams next season by adding BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston, while still retaining Texas and Oklahoma, which likely will not join the SEC until 2025.
“Over a two-year period, each of the schools will play each other at least once,” Yormark said. “Excited about what that schedule will look like when we finally put it out.”
Big 12 teams will also continue to play nine conference games, according to Yormark, who also indicated that geography will impact scheduling
“All those principles are part of the decision making, but we’ll end up in a great place,” he said.
At roughly 850 miles, the road trip to Iowa State is currently the shortest WVU can make for a Big 12 football game. The Mountaineers play the Cyclones in Ames, Iowa, on Nov. 5.
The conference’s addition of Cincinnati gives WVU a true regional opponent. The campuses of each school are separated by just more than 300 miles.
The trip to UCF (901 miles) is roughly the same distance as the trip to Lawrence, Kansas (903 miles). Kansas State is the only other Big 12 school within 1,000 miles of Morgantown.
The commissioner noted that the full conference schedule for the 2023 football season will be released sometime in late November or early December. He did not comment on why the conference won’t implement divisions over the next two years, or if there are plans to utilize divisions in 2025 and beyond.
According to a report from CBS Sports, the Big 12’s network partners may prevent Texas and Oklahoma from leaving the Big 12 a year early. When the programs first announced their joint move to the SEC, there was some initial speculation that they could join the SEC as full members before the 2023 or 2024 football seasons.
Video provided by Nexstar affiliate KLBK in Lubbock, Texas.