Yormark says Big 12 has a plan for expansion

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark watches a new promotional video during the first day of Big 12 Media Days in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, July 12, 2023.

When it comes to potential expansion, the Big 12 has a plan.

League commissioner Brett Yormark made that much clear during his annual press conference at Big 12 Football Media Days in Dallas on Wednesday. The details of that plan remain unclear, but Yormark says the league is prepared for multiple possibilities if the situation arises.

“We have a plan for expansion,” Yormark said. “I’m not really going to address it today. You can ask me, but I’m not really going to address it. We do have a plan, and, hopefully, we can execute that plan sooner than later. As I’ve always said, I love the composition of this conference right now.”

Those comments follow months of speculation that the league will look to expand for the second time in the last three years. Cincinnati, UCF, BYU and Houston were all invited to the league in 2021 and officially joined the league on July 1.

Much of the speculation has centered around Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Utah as the Pac-12 remains in flux without a media rights deal signed past this season. The league is expected to present media rights options to its members later this month.

The Big 12’s new media rights deal, which was agreed to earlier this year, guarantees a full media rights share for any team that joins the league from another Power 5 conference. 

The league has also been rumored to be interested in non-Power 5 conference members UConn, which is in the American, and Gonzaga, which is a member of the West Coast Conference.

“There’s a lot of different routes you can take with expansion,” Yormark said. “Like I said, we have a plan, but as it relates to a school that’s non-Power 5, if they create value and they align well with our goals and objectives, it’s a conversation we’ll consider having… If within the value equation, there’s alignment, Power 5 or non-Power 5, we’ll look to pursue it.”

Until then, the Big 12 will stay pat, and comfortable knowing there is a plan of action in place once the dominos start to fall.

“If we stay at 12, we’re perfectly fine with that,” Yormark said. “If the opportunity presents itself where there’s something that creates value and aligns with our goals and objectives, starting with the board, then we’re certainly going to pursue it.”

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.