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Brigham Young University BYU Athletics Makes the Big 12

By Katerina Gasset

Living in Provo, right above the LaVelle Edwards Stadium, is a buzzing scene during football season! 

Being within walking distance of BYU is super convenient, except when you’re trying to drive down certain roads during game time :). Some access ways are closed during the games. Many neighbors choose to walk to the athletic venues, especially for football games. 

It is an exciting privilege to be part of the Big 12! 

What Date Does BYU Officially Join the Big 12? 

Brigham Young University (BYU) officially joined the Big 12 Conference on July 1st, 2023! What an accomplishment for our beloved university!

This is a huge step forward for the university’s athletic department. It marks their entry into one of the most competitive and influential college sports conferences. The Big 12 is a Power Five league, which means it’s among the most elite conferences. 

BYU has a rich history when it comes to collegiate athletics. The university has participated in various conferences, including the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conferences. 

BYU is an independent in football while housing Olympic sports in the West Coast Conference. 

By joining the Big 12, BYU can compete at the highest level within their respective sports. They will engage in spirited competition against teams from other renowned institutions.  

This is an exciting time for the BYU community. The move to the Big 12 reflects the university’s ongoing commitment to growth, competition, and excellence. Their first football game as a Big 12 member is on September 2nd against Sam Houston State. 

There is sure to be plenty of fierce competition to come! 

What Conference Was BYU in Before the Big 12? 

BYU has been a member of various conferences throughout its rich history. They started with the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1922 and joined the Mountain States Athletic Conference in 1938. 

Later, in 1948, they became a part of the Skyline Conference before eventually contributing to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) creation in 1962. 

BYU gained immense recognition during its impressive 37-year tenure in the WAC. However, in 2011, they declared football independence while placing all other Olympic sports in the West Coast Conference. 

With the exciting news of BYU joining the Big 12 conference, Cougar fans are filled with anticipation for the future of their beloved team. 

It will be fascinating to witness their performance against other schools in the conference and how they adapt to playing in a new league. 

How Long Has BYU Been Independent?

BYU has had a remarkable 12-year run as an independent program from 2011 to 2022. During that time, their football team went head-to-head with 72 different opponents. 

BYU showcased its football prowess throughout the independence era, winning almost 100 games and consistently securing winning seasons. 

Despite the challenges of independence, such as scheduling and lack of conference affiliation, BYU demonstrated its resilience and determination to succeed. 

But now, BYU is looking toward the future with great excitement. They will join the prestigious Big 12 Conference, facing top-tier programs like Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa State. This move marks a new chapter in BYU’s athletic journey. 

What Teams are in the Big 12? 

The Big 12 conference consists of 14 teams with unique history and achievements. Six teams, including Baylor, Iowa, Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, have been proud members since 1996. 

Four new schools, namely BYU Cougars, Cincinnati Bearcats, Houston Cougars, and UCF Knights, have recently joined, increasing the membership to 14 teams.

However, this number will soon change as two prominent schools, Oklahoma and Texas, are set to leave after the 2023-24 academic year to join the Southeastern Conference. 

Looking ahead to the 2024-25 academic year, the Big 12 will welcome four more teams: Arizona Wildcats, Arizona State Sun Devils, Colorado Buffaloes, and Utah Utes. Colorado is returning to the conference after being a member from 1996 to 2010. 

It’s remarkable to witness the growth and evolution of the Big 12 throughout the years!  

Will All BYU Sports Move to the Big 12?

The BYU Cougars will compete in every sport sponsored by the Big 12, a pretty extensive list. We’re talking basketball, football, baseball, and many more. Only a few sports are not included in the Big 12 lineup, which are equestrian, rowing, and wrestling. 

It’s worth noting that there is one other sport that BYU competes in that isn’t included in the Big 12: men’s volleyball. However, this doesn’t diminish the opportunity for BYU to participate in such a prestigious athletic conference.

Want to see BYU's greatness when it comes to sports? Watch BYU's upcoming football match versus Cincinnati. Click the link to this exciting event for more details!


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About the author of Move to Provo Utah Website 

Katerina Gasset

When I moved here I was blessed to have my daughter to help with different things you need to know when you move to a new place. I had background from living here before but things have changed a lot too since the '80s. 

We were able to get all the good places to eat down fast - since she knows all that and we have a lot of the same likes in food. But things like how to turn on my electricity or what power company services my home... well... I was at a total loss! 

I know that other people moving to Provo don't always have family here to guide and help them. And most people don't have a real estate agent who gives them a welcome package on all the important numbers and places they need to know. 

My goal is for this website to be your go to resource for everything you need to know before, during, and after you move here to Provo, Utah. I want you to have the best experience and love living here as much as I do

Author Katerina Gasset - photo of me the author