The Big 12 Conference is a ten-school collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Irving, Texas. It is a member of the NCAA's Division I for all sports; its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), the higher of two levels of NCAA Division I football competition. Its ten members, located in Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia, include eight public and two private Christian schools. Additionally, the Big 12 has 12 affiliate members, eight for the sport of wrestling, one for women's gymnastics, and 3 for women's rowing. The Big 12 Conference is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware.
The Big 12 Conference was founded on February 25, 1994. The eight members of the former Big Eight Conference joined with Southwest Conference schools Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech to form the new Big 12 Conference, which commenced competition on August 31, 1996. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were grouped with the four former SWC schools in the Big 12 South division, while the other six teams of the former Big Eight (Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa State) formed the Big 12 North division.
The conference's current 10-campus makeup resulted from the 2010â"13 Big 12 Conference realignment, in which Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference, Colorado joined the Pac-12, and Missouri and Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference. TCU and West Virginia joined from the Mountain West and Big East Conferences respectively to offset two of the departing schools, bringing the conference to its current strength.
The Big 12 Conference, like others involved in the realignment, has kept its name primarily for marketing purposes; the conference has high name recognition and remains one of the Power Five conferences which are considered the primary contenders to produce a College Football Playoff champion team in any given year. Attempts to rename the Big 12 to reflect its current strength would lead to confusion with the current Big Ten Conference (which currently has 14 teams).
The Big 12 Conference commissioner is Bob Bowlsby.
What if the Big 12 Disbanded?!? OU and OSU to SEC? Texas Independent? - Drawing out a scenario where the Big 12 disbands and the entire conference implodes. In this video I talk about what conference every team would end up joining. Check out my new website: https://w...
- On July 29, 2015, the Big 12 announced it would add the six former members of the Western Wrestling Conferenceâ"Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Utah Valley, and Wyomingâ"as affiliate members for wrestling, plus Denver as an affiliate member for women's gymnastics, all effective with the 2015â"16 school year. On July 5, 2017, the Big 12 added Fresno State and Northern Iowa as wrestling affiliates.
Full members Assoc. member (Other sports) Other Conference
The Big 12 Conference sponsors championship competition in ten men's and thirteen women's NCAA sanctioned sports.
Men's sponsored sports by school
Men's (and Coed â" see Rifle) varsity sports not sponsored by the Big 12 Conference which are played by Big 12 schools:
- Rifle is often categorized as a men's sport because the NCAA bylaws that establish scholarship limits for each sport list rifle as a men's sport. Nonetheless, it is an open coed sport in NCAA college athletics, with men's, women's, and coed teams in all NCAA divisions competing against each other. TCU and West Virginia both field coed teams. Through 2017, West Virginia with 19 national titles and TCU with two, together have won over half of the NCAA titles awarded since the inaugural NCAA championship in 1980. West Virginia also won four pre-NCAA national titles.
Women's sponsored sports by school
The Big 12 Conference is a major college athletic conference in the United States, having formed in February 1994 when four prominent colleges from Texas that were members of the Southwest Conference were invited to join the eight members of the Big Eight Conference to form a new 12 member conference. The Big 12 began athletic play in the fall of 1996, with the Texas Tech vs. Kansas State football game being the first-ever sports event staged by the conference. From its formation until 2011, its 12 members competed in two divisions. Between 2011 and 2012 four charter members left the conference, while two schools joined in 2012.
Football championship game takes hiatus, returns in 2017
The Big 12 is unique among the current "Power Five" conferences in that it only has 10 members, despite the name, causing some confusion. From 1987 to 2015, 12 or more members were required for an "exempt" conference championship gameâ"that is, one that did not count against NCAA limits for regular-season games (currently 12 in FBS)â"although the first such game was not established until the SEC did so in 1992. (Since the 2014 season, the Pac-12 has 12 members, while the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC have 14 football members each.)
Former Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds and former football coach Mack Brown, along with Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, preferred not to have a championship game. Critics argued it was a competitive advantage over other contract conferences. Conferences with a championship game have their division champions typically play one of their toughest games of the year in the last week of the regular season. Unlike the other "Power 5" conferences in which a team only plays a portion of the other teams in the conference each season, each Big 12 team plays the other nine teams during its conference schedule. This theoretically allows for the declaration of a de facto champion without the need for an additional rematch between the top two teams in the conference.
On June 3, 2016, the conference announced it would reinstate the football championship game in the 2017 season. This followed the passage of a new NCAA rule allowing all FBS conferences to hold "exempt" football championship games regardless of their membership numbers.
The Big 12 population base is centered on the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia and Iowa. This area has a combined population of 37.8 million.
As of 2013, out of the 115.6 million TV households nationwide there are only 13,427,130 TV households in those states (11.6%), although Morgantown, West Virginia where WVU is based is in the Pittsburgh television market, which increases the Big 12's television base well into Pennsylvania, and Lawrence, Kansas, where KU is based, is in the Kansas City television market, increasing the base into western Missouri. The Big 12's share of the nation's TVs is a fraction of that reached by the rest of the Power Five. This likely works against the conference in TV negotiations, but the conference negotiated tier 1 and 2 TV contracts with total payouts similar to those of the other Power Five conferences.
Grant of Rights
Member schools granted their first and second tier sports media rights to the conference for the length of their current TV deals. The Grant of Rights (GOR) deal with the leagues' TV contracts ensures that "if a Big 12 school leaves for another league in the next 13 years, that school's media rights, including revenue, would remain with the Big 12 and not its new conference."
GOR is seen by league members as a "foundation of stability" and allowed the Big 12 to be "positioned with one of the best media rights arrangements in collegiate sports, providing the conference and its members unprecedented revenue growth, and sports programming over two networks." All members agreed to the GOR and later agreed to extend the initial 6-year deal to 13 years to correspond to the length of their TV contracts.
Prior to this agreement, the Big Ten and Pac-12 also had similar GOR agreements. The Big 12 subsequently assisted the ACC in drafting its GOR agreement. Four of the five major conferences now have such agreements, with the SEC the only exception.
Tier 3 events
The Big 12 is the only major conference that allows members to monetize TV rights for tier 3 events in football and men's basketball. This allows individual Big 12 member institutions to create tier 3 deals that include TV rights for one home football game and four home men's basketball games per season. Tier 3 rights exist for other sports as well, but these are not unique to the Big 12. The unique arrangement potentially allows Big 12 members to remain some of college sports' highest revenue earners. Other conferences' cable deals are subject to value reductions based on how people acquire cable programming, Big 12 schools tier 3 deals are exempt. Texas alone will earn more than $150 Million of that total from their Longhorn Network.
Conference revenue comes mostly from television contracts, bowl games, the NCAA, merchandise, licensing and conference-hosted sporting events. The Conference distributes revenue annually to member institutions. From 1996 to 2011, 57 percent of revenue was allotted equally; while 43 percent was based upon the number of football and men's basketball television appearances and other factors. In 2011 the distribution was 76 percent equal and 24 percent based on television appearances. Changing the arrangement requires a unanimous vote; as a Big 12 member, Nebraska and Texas A&M had withheld support for more equitable revenue distribution.
With this model, larger schools can receive more revenue because they appear more often on television. In 2006, for example, Texas received $10.2 million, 44% more than Baylor University's $7.1 million.
Big 12 revenue was generally less than other BCS conferences; this was due in part to television contracts signed with Fox Sports Net (four years for $48 million) and ABC/ESPN (eight years for $480 million).
In 2011, the Big 12 announced a new 13-year media rights deal with Fox that would ensure that every Big 12 home football game is televised, as well as greatly increasing coverage of women's basketball, conference championships and other sports. The deal, valued at an estimated $1.1 billion, runs until 2025. In 2012, the conference announced a new ESPN/FOX agreement, replacing the current ABC/ESPN deal, to immediately increase national media broadcasts of football and increase conference revenue; the new deal was estimated to be worth $2.6 billion through the 2025 expiration. The two deals pushed the conference per-school payout to approximately $20 million per year, while separating third-tier media rights into separate deals for each school; such contracts secured an additional $6 million to $20 million per school annually. The per-school payout under the deal is expected to reach $44 million, according to Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Revenue includes ticket sales, contributions and donations, rights/licensing, student fees, school funds and all other sources including TV income, camp income, food and novelties. Total expenses includes coaching/staff, scholarships, buildings/ground, maintenance, utilities and rental fees and all other costs including recruiting, team travel, equipment and uniforms, conference dues and insurance costs. Data is from United States Department of Education.
*Iowa State discontinued its participation in baseball as an NCAA-recognized activity following the 2001 season. It participates in club baseball as a member of the National Club Baseball Association. Games are played at Cap Timm Field, capacity 3,000.
The following is a list of all NCAA, equestrian, and college football championships won by teams that were representing the Big 12 Conference in NCAA-recognized sports at the time of their championship.
National team titles by institution
The national championships listed below are as of March 2016. Football, Helms, pre-NCAA competition and overall equestrian titles are included in the total, but excluded from the column listing NCAA and AIAW titles.
See also: List of NCAA schools with the most NCAA Division I championships, List of NCAA schools with the most Division I national championships, and NCAA Division 1 FBS Conferences
The Conference sponsors 23 sports, 10 men's and 13 women's.
In football, divisional titles were awarded based on regular-season conference results, with the teams with the best conference records from the North and South playing in the Big 12 Championship Game from 1996 to 2010. Baseball, basketball, softball, tennis and women's soccer titles are awarded in both regular-season and tournament play. Cross country, golf, gymnastics, swimming and diving, track and field, and wrestling titles are awarded during an annual meet of participating teams. The volleyball title is awarded based on regular-season play.
Conference titles by school
As of March 8, 2016. List includes both regular-season, tournament titles, and co-championships. List does not include conference championships won prior to the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996.
- Texas â" 163 (148 including 7 football division championships)
- Baylor â" 69
- Oklahoma â" 70 (73 including 8 football division championships)
- Oklahoma State â" 67 (63 including 1 football division championship)
- Kansas â" 35 (34 including 1 football division championship)
- Iowa State â" 20 (20 including 1 football division championship)
- Texas Tech â" 21 (19 including 1 football division championship)
- Kansas State â" 16 (18 including 4 football division championships)
- West Virginia â" 9
- TCU â" 9
- Nebraska â" 71 (80 including 9 football division championships)
- Texas A&M â" 61 (64 including 3 football division championships)
- Colorado â" 27 (31 including 4 football division championships)
- Missouri â" 10 (12 including 3 football division championships)
The first football game in conference play was Texas Tech vs. Kansas State in 1996, won by Kansas State, 21â"14.
From 1996 to 2010, Big 12 Conference teams played eight conference games a season. Each team faced all five opponents within its own division and three teams from the opposite division. Inter-divisional play was a "three-on, three-off" system, where teams would play three teams from the other division on a home-and-home basis for two seasons, and then play the other three foes from the opposite side for a two-year home-and-home.
This format came under considerable criticism, especially from Nebraska and Oklahoma, who were denied a yearly match between two of college football's most storied programs. The Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry was one of the most intense in college football history. (Until 2006, the teams had never met in the Big 12 Championship.) Due to the departure of Nebraska and Colorado in 2011, the Big 12 eliminated the divisions (and championship game) and instituted a nine-game round-robin format. With the advent of the College Football Playoff committee looking at teams' strength of schedule for picking the four playoff teams, on December 8, 2015 the Big 12 announced an annual requirement for all Big 12 teams to schedule a non-conference game against a team from the four other Power Five conferences (plus Notre Dame). Per Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby: "Schedule strength is a key component in CFP Selection Committee deliberations. This move will strengthen the resumes for all Big 12 teams. Coupled with the nine-game full round robin Conference schedule our teams play, it will not only benefit the teams at the top of our standings each season, but will impact the overall strength of the Conference."
The Big 12 Championship Game game was approved by all members except Nebraska. It was held each year, commencing with the first match in the 1996 season at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis. It pitted the division champions against each other after the regular season was completed.
Following the 2008 game, the event was moved to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, being played there in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, the Sooners defeated the Cornhuskers 23â"20.
After 2010, the game was moved to Arlington for 2011, 2012, and 2013. However, the decision became moot following the 2010 season because the league lacked sufficient members.
In April 2015, the ACC and the Big 12 developed new rules for the NCAA to deregulate conference championship games. The measure passed on January 14, 2016, allowing a conference with fewer than 12 teams to stage a championship game that does not count against the FBS limit of 12 regular-season games under either of the following circumstances:
- The game involves the top two teams following a full round-robin conference schedule.
- The game involves two divisional winners, each having played a full round-robin schedule in its division.
Under the first criterion, the Big 12 championship game will resume at the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, and will be played during the first weekend of December, the time all other Division I FBS conference championship games are played.
As of 2014.
Rivalries (primarily in football) mostly predate the conference. The Kansas-Missouri rivalry was the longest running, the longest west of the Mississippi and the second longest in college football. It was played 119 times before Missouri left the Big 12. As of October 2012, the University of Kansas' athletic department had not accepted Missouri's invitations to play inter-conference rivalry games, putting the rivalry on hold. Sports clubs sponsored by the two universities continued to play each other.
The rivalry between TCU and Baylor, known as the Revivalry is also one of the longest running in college football, with the two schools having played each other â" largely as Southwest Conference members â" 112 times since 1899. As of the 2016 game, TCU leads the series 53â"52â"7.
The Oklahoma-Texas rivalry, the Red River Showdown is one year younger and has been played 108 times. This was a major rivalry decades before they were both in the conference, starting the year after the Revivalry in 1900. Currently Texas leads this rivalry 60â"44â"5.
Some of the longstanding football rivalries between Big 12 schools include:
Rivalries with former members
From 1996 to 2011, standings in conference play were not split among divisions, although the schedule was structured as if they were. Teams played a home-and-home against teams within their "division"s and a single game against teams from the opposite division for a total of 16 conference games. After Nebraska and Colorado left, Big 12 play transitioned to an 18-game, double round robin schedule.
Big 12 basketball teams played non-division members only once and in-division members twice during the regular season in a 16-game schedule until the 2012-13 season when its ten teams adopted a "home and away" double round robin 18-game schedule. The conference tournament gave first round byes to the top four teams from 1997 until 2012, and the top six teams 2013 to present.
Kansas has the most Big 12 titles, winning or sharing the regular-season title 17 times in the league's 21 seasons. The 2002 Jayhawks became the first, and so far only, team to complete an undefeated Big 12 regular season, going 16â"0. As of the 2015-2016 season, Kansas had won or shared 13 straight regular-season league titles and 15 of the past 16. Though rematches between Big 12 regular season co-champions have happened in that year's Big 12 tournament, none have met in the ensuing NCAA Tournament.
In 2004â"05, Oklahoma won the Big 12 Tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 71â"63 win over the Jayhawks in Norman, OK. The teams did not meet in Kansas City, MO.
In 2005â"06, Texas won the Big 12 Tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 80â"55 win over the Jayhawks in Austin, TX. Kansas beat Texas 80â"68 in the Big 12 Tournament championship game in Dallas, TX.
In 2007â"08, Texas won the Big 12 Tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 72â"69 win over the Jayhawks in Austin, TX. Kansas beat Texas 84-74 in the Big 12 Tournament championship game in Kansas City, MO.
In 2012â"13, Kansas won the Big 12 Tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas State based on winning 59â"55 in Manhattan and 83â"62 in Lawrence. Kansas beat Kansas State for a third time 70-54 in the championship game in Kansas City, MO.
NCAA tournament performance
Totals though the end of the 2015-16 season.
Totals though the end of the 2015â"16 season.
Overall series records
Totals though the end of the 2015â"16 season.
All current Big 12 members sponsor baseball except Iowa State, which dropped the sport after the 2001 season. All former Big 12 members sponsored the sport throughout their tenures in the conference except Colorado, which never sponsored baseball during its time in the Big 12.
- As of the completion of the 2017 tournament.
- Official website