IRVING, Texas — The Big 12 extended invitations to four universities to join the conference Friday, it said in a press release.
The four new members are Brigham Young University (BYU), University of Central Florida (UCF), University of Cincinnati and the University of Houston.
The schools will fill the void that Texas and Oklahoma will leave when they departed for the SEC.
BYU does not actively belong to a conference. The other three schools were plucked from the American Athletic Conference.
BYU finished the 2020 season with an 11-1 record and placed No. 11 in the final Associated Press poll. The Cougars were led by quarterback Zach Wilson, who was taken No. 2 in the NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The team has been ranked in nine of the past 15 seasons, not including 2021.
UCF has become one of the most successful programs outside of a Power Five conference after reaching the FBS level in 1996. The Knights won double-digit games each year from 2017-2019, including an undefeated season in 2017 that culminated in a Peach Bowl victory over Auburn. UCF is coached by Gus Malzahn, who won a national championship with Auburn.
Cincinnati was the top Group of Five team last season, finishing the year 9-1. The Bearcats lost to Georgia in the Peach Bowl and finished the season ranked No. 8.
Houston has not had a winning season since Dana Holgorsen took over in 2019 but strung together six straight before that. The program’s highlight was in 2015 when it went 13-1 and beat Florida State in the Peach Bowl.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowslby said BYU will enter the conference in 2023, while the other schools will join by July 2024.