Big 12 nixes Tigers in expansion, takes Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, BYU

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s now official. Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF are leaving the American Athletic Conference (AAC) to join the Big 12.

Independent BYU is also making the move.

The vote to invite them was unanimous. BYU could begin play in the Big 12 as early as next season.

The three former AAC schools could start as early as 2023.

It means the Tigers will play in a weakened AAC, and miss out on the millions of dollars of TV money the Big 12 doles out to its members.

American Conference schools currently get $6 million to $8 million a season. Big 12 schools get about $35 Million.

The University of Memphis (UofM) responded to Friday’s news with an open Letter from school president, Dr. David Rudd, and Athletic Director Laird Veatch to the fans.

The letter askes UofM fans to “stay proud of what the University is trying to accomplish.”

A multi-million dollar “Memphis Rising” project is in the works.

The Tiger basketball team is one of only four in the nation that has won at least 18 games a season for the last 21 straight years.

And the Tiger football team has the 10th most wins in the country since 2014, which includes an appearance in the Cotton Bowl and three straight AAC championship games.

Plus, Memphis has the Bowl Streak of any team in the AAC with seven straight.

There is a ray of hope for the Tigers. Memphis was at the head of a second tier of schools considered for Big 12 expansion.

That League could add more once Texas and Oklahoma exit for the SEC, which could happen as soon as 2023.

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