The Big 12 has filled the void with four new schools to the conference

Recently four colleges were added to the Big 12

Recently four colleges were added to the Big 12

Quinton Coats, Reporter

The Big 12 has been one of the top power five conferences in the nation for over 25 years. With the departure of two powerhouse schools in Texas and Oklahoma, the Big 12 had big shoes to fill. Although the four schools aren’t on the level Texas and Oklahoma are on athletically, they will still bring strong competition to the table. 

The four schools the Big 12 is adding to the conference are The University of Houston, Brigham Young University (BYU), The University of Cincinnati, and The University of Central Florida (UCF). Each school excels at a certain sport or in some cases multiple. This is the first time the Big 12 has added a school to the conference since 2012 with the addition of Texas Christian University (TCU).

What will each school bring to the table?

Brigham Young University: BYU has been a very competitive school for many years. BYU will compete in major sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. “I think BYU will probably bring more to the table than the rest of them…”physical education teacher Jeff Gourley says. BYU’s most known program is their Football team. BYU’s current 2021 week 5 ranking is 13th. BYU’s best finish was 1st in the 1984 where they claimed the National Championship. Another notable sport at BYU is Men’s Volleyball. The Program has put together an all time record of 598-263 (.695), and 3 national championships. The last national championship was in 2004 for the cougars men’s volleyball team.

The University of Houston: When most people are asked about The University of Houston’s athletic background, they will immediately talk about the 2020-2021 Men’s Basketball Team. Finishing the year with a record of 28-4 (.875) and an end of the year ranking of 6th, this regular season was good enough to give them a 2nd seed in the NCAA tournament. The team made a run all the way until the final four beating notable teams such as Rutgers and Syracuse along the way. The Cougars of Houston were bested by, at the time, soon to be national champions, Baylor. The Football program at The University of Houston is also prestigious. The program’s all-time record is 448-379-15 (.541). Their highest ranking was 4th in the AP Poll during the 1976 NCAA Division 1 FBS Season. 

The University of Cincinnati: When you think University of Cincinnati Athletics, you automatically think of their Football Program. With the recent success of their football team, Cincinnati Football has been recognized as one of the top football teams in the nation with a current 2021 week 5 of 7th in the AP Poll. Coach Luke Fickell, Head Coach of the Bearcats, has turned around the team in his 5th season. During those 5 seasons he has posted a current record of 38-14 (.731). Another notable sport at Cincinnati is Women’s swimming. The team is one of the most decorated women’s swimming teams in the U.S.

The University of Central Florida: UCF has one of the most intriguing football programs in the nation. The team’s all-time record is 265-213-1 (.554). When you look at their record you think that they are just another run of the mill mid-major football program. From 2010-2020, UCF posted a record of 87-41 (.680). This record points to a successful decade which for the most part it was. The diabolical part was during the 2015 season, the Knights went 0-12. Two years later they claimed the 2017 National Championship putting a record of 12-0. In 2017, they were the only Division 1 FBS team to go undefeated that season. Another notable sport at UCF is Men’s Basketball. With an all time record of 760-615 (.553), the program is one of the more successful programs at UCF. Their most notable season was in 2019 getting to the Round of 32, the furthest the team has ever been into the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Gaining a 9 seed in the tournament beating VCU in the Round of 64 and almost knocking off the top seed in the whole tournament, Duke. The Knights almost pulled off the upset behind a 32-Point performance by Audrey Dawkins and 15 points by Tacko Fall, the infamous 7ft 6in Center now with the Boston Celtics. 

Overall the Big 12 is adding four great schools to the conference. Filling the shoes of Texas and Oklahoma won’t be easy but these four schools are ready to compete in a Power 5 conference. They all have the programs and tools to be powerhouses in their respective sports. It will be exciting to watch each school grow and compete on one of the best levels of competition in the nation.