With the announcement of the Big 12 Conference ruling to add four new members last week, only time will tell to see how the Mountaineers and the other withstanding Big 12 schools fare against the likes of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF looking down the road.
This news comes in the wake of Texas and Oklahoma disbanding from the Big 12 and making their way on over into the SEC. The new Big 12 Conference would then truly have 12 teams in the conference like it’s really supposed to be and not be put in place until 2023 or 2024.
BYU has long been a nationally known college football powerhouse in the Western Athletic and Mountain West Conferences for years which includes a 1984 National Championship. They are currently 2-0 this season after taking care of business against Utah this past Saturday jumping out to a 26-17 victory in which Jaren Hall tossed for three touchdowns all to different Cougars as well as throwing for 149 yards on the day.
Nevertheless, Brigham Young is a well-known school that will bring relevance to the Big 12 outside the usual scope and are led by a solid head coach in Kahlani Sitake who played fullback at the University at the turn of the century.
The second team the new Big 12 welcomes into the conference is Cincinnati who has been on a roll lately finishing in the top-10 of college football rankings last season. This year’s team is also ranked after winning 11 games in both 2018 and 2019 and looking like a team has been building quite a nice string of seasons in the American Athletic Conference.
Dana Holgorson and his Houston squad will also be joining the conference as Holgorson returns to a place he’s experienced before with the Mountaineers in the Big 12 and some familiar teams he will be able to help his teams prepare for in the coming years. The Cougars have seen a plethora of success over the years winning conference titles in the Southwest Conference, Conference USA and American Athletic Conference.
Houston would join a number of other Big 12 schools located in Texas including Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech and continue the trend of long travel for all the Mountaineer sports teams in conference action. The University of Houston men’s basketball team has also made some noise over the years including last season when the team reached the Final Four ultimately falling to the eventual National Champion Baylor Bears.
The University of Central Florida football team will be the fourth team entering the Big 12 and has been a force in the American Athletic Conference that many have not been able to take down. One of the biggest victories for the Golden Knights in recent history was their 2018 Peach Bowl win over Auburn.
The invitation that the program has been waiting for in the past few years has been a College Football Playoff spot which could happen when UCF makes its move over to the Big 12. The Golden Knights have won 75 percent of their football games over the last five years and gladly accept an invitation to play in a power five conference like the Big 12.
The future of the Big 12 has been settled for now and will be entertaining to see how the four new teams stack up against longtime conference teams. This also solves West Virginia’s problem as they have found some more teams they can compete against with Texas and Oklahoma on their way out.