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Report: Big 12 Expansion Could 'Move Faster Than Initially Anticipated'

On Thursday, The Athletic wrote an article stating the Big 12 could expand "faster than initially anticipated" if the remaining eight schools reach a consensus on which schools to invite. According to that report, the Big 12 has narrowed their focus four candidates: BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston.

"BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are the four schools that have been most seriously discussed and are considered the leading contenders, sources said." Max Olson of The Athletic

On Wednesday, the Big 12 released a statement regarding the future of the Big 12 and their plans to "strengthen the league" in the future:

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league. Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.” - Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby

So when would expansion happen? It's still unclear. According to The Athletic, "Few details are known at this time about the Big 12’s intended long-term timeline for bringing in new members."

Chuck Carlton of the Dallas News believes it could be "completed sometime during the academic year."

4:00 PM EST Update: According to a new report from ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Heather Dinich, formal invitations "could be extended during the college football season."

BYU is the top priority for the Big 12 according to Rittenberg. 

Olson's report includes a nugget that claims BYU could be brought in as a football-only member. "BYU, an FBS independent in football whose other sports compete in the West Coast Conference, could potentially be brought in as a football-only member." Olson said.

There are still details that would need to be worked out, according to Olson.

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