As soon as they found out Texas and Oklahoma would be leaving for the SEC, the Big 12 set its sights on expanding to ensure that it would remain a Power 5 conference and maintain a foothold in the national picture. They hope that they accomplished that on Friday when they announced that BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston would be joining them in the near future.

The plan is for BYU to join the conference in 2023 while Houston, Cincinnati, UCF will join no later than 2024. Those three schools will potentially join a year earlier if possible. The goal for the Big 12 was to make sure that they weren’t down to 8 schools if Texas and Oklahoma decided to leave for the SEC earlier than expected.

The move allows the Big 12 to maintain a good footprint in Texas as well as expand its reach to Florida, Ohio, and the Mountain Time Zone, making it a bit more of a national conference from that standpoint. However, the conference’s ability to compete with the likes of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12 remains to be seen, especially when it comes to getting teams in the College Football Playoff.

The college football world, including fans and media, had some strong reactions to the news. There were plenty of jokes, especially when it comes to the Big 12 finding a way to survive and whether or not these four schools will make or break the conference in the national discussion.

Others wondered whether there were better options out there instead of the four schools selected.

And of course, there had to be some basketball considerations, too.

The Big 12’s big experiment begins in a few years. In the meantime, it should be a fun and awkward time hanging out with Texas and Oklahoma.

[Big 12]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, Neighborhoods.com, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle.