It’s been a tumultuous past couple of months for the Big 12 Conference and Big 12 Basketball in particular. It started with rumors that program heavyweights, Oklahoma and Texas, would be moving to the SEC. Those rumors quickly became reality with the announcement that both would be leaving by the 2025-26 season.
That caused mass hysteria when it comes to college athletics, as 20-team mega conferences were potentially in the fold. All eyes were on the Big Ten, ACC, and Pac-12 in their next steps, as they each could’ve taken someone from the remaining eight teams. Yet the “Alliance” decided to stand pat, with the Pac-12 not opting to expand.
That gave the Big 12 what they needed to make their own move. And thanks to the shenanigans from five years ago with their pump-fake expansion moves, we knew which programs were in contention to join the new-look Big 12. That included BYU from the WCC, and three programs from the AAC (Houston, Cincinnati, and Central Florida). And after a short period of discussion, it was made official on Friday.
The set dates for arrivals to the Big 12 will be for the 2023-24 season, for all sports. This creates a two-year window where the conference will have 14 teams, as both Texas and Oklahoma will still be around unless they negotiate an earlier exit.
Conference realignment is 95% about football but it certainly has an impact on basketball, as each of these four programs has recently made the NCAA Tournament, with Houston just coming off a Final Four appearance. These moves will help Big 12 Men’s Basketball stay near the top as a hoops league, with mainstays Kansas and Baylor still around.
But the Big 12 is a different beast compared to the AAC and WCC, so where would these new teams fit in the new hierarchy? Looking at an overall land long-term sense rather than just simply looking at the rosters, here are my future power rankings for Big 12 Basketball.