Big 12 Conference
|Big 12 Conference
|Established||February 25, 1994|
|Division||Division I FBS|
|Members||20 (10 full members, 10 affiliate members)|
|Sports fielded||23 (men's: 10; women's: 13)|
|Commissioner||Bob Bowlsby (since 2012)|
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, except hockey; 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. The Big 12 Conference is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware.
The Big 12 was formerly composed of 12 schools, hence its name: it was formed in 1996 when four schools from the collapsing Southwest Conference (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor) joined with the pre-existing Big Eight Conference. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were grouped with the four newcomers in the "Big 12 South", while the remaining 6 teams of the Big 8 (Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa State) formed the "Big 12 North".
The conference's current 10-campus makeup resulted from the 2010–13 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 is also considered one of the Premier Seven Conferences in basketball.
The Big 12 Conference commissioner is Bob Bowlsby.
- 1 Member schools
- 2 Sports
- 3 History
- 4 Distinctive elements
- 5 Revenue
- 6 Football
- 7 Men's basketball
- 8 Baseball
- 9 Facilities
- 10 National championships
- 11 Conference champions
- 12 References
- 13 External links
|United States Air Force Academy||Colorado Springs, Colorado||1954||2015||Military academy||4,000||Falcons||Wrestling|
|University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Alabama||1831||2014||Public||36,155||Crimson Tide||Women's rowing|
|University of Denver||Denver, Colorado||1864||2015||Private||11,809||Pioneers||Women's gymnastics|
|University of Northern Colorado||Greeley, Colorado||1889||2015||Public||12,084||Bears||Wrestling|
|North Dakota State University||Fargo, North Dakota||1890||2015||Public||14,747||Bison||Wrestling|
|Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia||1930||2014||Public||24,125||Lady Monarchs||Women's rowing|
|South Dakota State University||Brookings, South Dakota||1881||2015||Public||12,554||Jackrabbits||Wrestling|
|University of Tennessee||Knoxville, Tennessee||1794||2014||Public||27,523||Volunteers||Women's rowing|
|Utah Valley University||Orem, Utah||1941||2015||Public||31,556||Wolverines||Wrestling|
|University of Wyoming||Laramie, Wyoming||1886||2015||Public||13,992||Cowboys||Wrestling|
- On July 29, 2015, the Big 12 added the six former members of the Western Wrestling Conference: Air Force, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Utah Valley, and Wyoming as affiliate members for wrestling and Denver as an affiliate member for women's gymnastics.
|University of Colorado||Boulder, Colorado||1876||1996||2011||Public||30,128||Buffaloes||||Pac-12|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, Missouri||1839||1996||2012||Public||34,255||Tigers||||SEC|
|University of Nebraska||Lincoln, Nebraska||1869||1996||2011||Public||24,100||Cornhuskers||||Big Ten|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, Texas||1876||1996||2012||Public||53,337||Aggies||||SEC|
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.
|Swimming & Diving||3||5|
|Track and Field (Indoor)||9||10|
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||9||10|
Men's sponsored sports by school
|North Dakota State||1|
|South Dakota State||1|
Men's (and Coed – see Rifle) varsity sports not sponsored by the Big 12 Conference which are played by Big 12 schools:
|Oklahoma||Mountain Pacific Sports Federation||No||No|
|TCU||No||Patriot Rifle Conference||No|
|West Virginia||No||Great America Rifle Conference||Mid-American Conference|
- 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 2016, West Virginia with 18 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 2013.
No football championship game until 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 a conference championship game, 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 football championship games regardless of their membership numbers.
The Big 12 has the smallest population base by far of the Power Five conferences. Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia and Iowa have 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. 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
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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.
|Year||Total distributed||Annual Increase||Per-school averagea|
|1997||$53.6 million||–||$4.5 million|
|1998||$58 million||8.2%||$4.8 million|
|1999||$64 million||10.3%||$5.3 million|
|2000||$72 million||12.5%||$6.0 million|
|2001||$78 million||8.3%||$6.5 million|
|2002||$83.5 million||7.1%||$7.0 million|
|2003||$89 million||6.6%||$7.4 million|
|2004||$101 million||13.5%||$8.4 million|
|2005||$105.6 million||4.6%||$8.8 million|
|2006||$103.1 million||−2.4%||$8.6 million|
|2007||$106 million||2.8%||$8.8 million|
|2008||$113.5 million||7.1%||$9.5 million|
|2009||$130 million||14.5%||$10.8 million|
|2010||$139 million||6.9%||$11.6 million|
|2011||$145 million||4.3%||$12.1 million|
|2012||$187 million||29.0%||$18.7 million|
|2013||$198 million||5.9%||$19.8 million|
|2014||$212 million||7.1%||$21.2 million|
|2015||$252 million||18.9%||$25.2 million|
|Total||$2.29 billion||–||$205 million|
|Average||$121 million||–||$10.8 million|
|a Twelve Big 12 members received disbursements each year from 1997–2011; ten each year afterwards. Individual schools' disbursement varied annually according to bylaw rules and entrance or withdrawal agreements.|
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.
|2014–15 Conference Rank||Institution||2014–15 Total Revenue from Athletics||2014–15 Total Expenses on Athletics||2014–15 Average Spending per student-athlete|
|1||University of Texas at Austin||$179,555,311||$152,853,239||$218,050|
|2||University of Oklahoma||$135,660,070||$124,732,244||$170,866|
|4||University of Kansas||$103,326,170||$103,326,170||$177,536|
|5||West Virginia University||$87,265,473||$87,265,473||$147,159|
|6||Oklahoma State University||$85,645,208||$80,196,450||$123,189|
|7||Texas Christian University||$80,608,562||$80,608,562||$145,766|
|8||Kansas State University||$76,245,188||$66,449,920||$110,016|
|9||Texas Tech University||$69,858,256||$64,245,380||$123,207|
|10||Iowa State University||$65,733,110||$65,658,901||$129,396|
The first football game in conference play was Texas Tech vs. Kansas State in 1996, won by Kansas State, 21–14.
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 was held each year. The game was approved by all members except Nebraska. The championship game pitted the division champions against each other after the regular season was completed. The first match was held during the 1996 season at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis.
Following the 2008 game, a decision was made to move the game to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The 2009 and 2010 games were played there, with the Sooners defeating the Cornhuskers 23–20 in the 2010 championship game.
In April 2015, legislation that was developed by the ACC and the Big 12 to deregulate conference championship games was announced by NCAA officials as being expected to pass in time for the start of the 2016 season. The legislation passed on January 14, 2016 allowing a conference with fewer then twelve teams to stage a championship game 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 within its division.
2014 Bowl games
|–||College Football Playoff||–||–|
|1||Sugar Bowl†||New Orleans, Louisiana||SEC|
|2||Valero Alamo Bowl||San Antonio, Texas||Pac-12|
|3||Russell Athletic Bowl||Orlando, Florida||ACC|
|4||AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl||Houston, Texas||SEC|
|5||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||Memphis, Tennessee||SEC|
|6||Cactus Bowl||Tempe, Arizona||Pac-12|
|7||Heart of Dallas Bowl‡||Dallas, Texas||Conference USA|
|Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl‡||Fort Worth, Texas||American|
|†:The Big 12 champion will go to the Sugar Bowl unless selected for the College football playoff. In the event that the conference champion is selected for the playoff, the conference runner up will go to the Sugar Bowl.
‡:Conference representative will play in the bowls on a rotating basis.
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 — largely as Southwest Conference members — 110 times since 1899. As of the 2015 game, the teams are even at 52–52–7.
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 60–44–5.
Some of the longstanding football rivalries between Big 12 schools include:
|Baylor–Texas Tech||Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Shootout||74||1929|
|Iowa State–Kansas State||Farmageddon||98||1917|
|Kansas–Kansas State||Sunflower Showdown||Governor's Cup||112||1902|
|Oklahoma–Oklahoma State||Bedlam Series||Bedlam Bell||109||1904|
|Oklahoma–Texas||Red River Showdown||Golden Hat||110||1900|
|TCU–Texas||Battle of the Horns||86||1897|
|TCU–Texas Tech||The West Texas Championship||58||1926|
|Texas–Texas Tech||Chancellor's Spurs||64||1928|
Rivalries with former members
|Baylor–Texas A&M||Battle of the Brazos||108||1899||2011|
|Iowa State–Missouri||Telephone Trophy||104||1896||2011|
|Kansas–Missouri||Border War||Indian War Drum||120||1891||2011|
|Missouri–Oklahoma||Tiger–Sooner Peace Pipe||96||1902||2011|
|Texas A&M–Texas Tech||70||1927||2011|
|Texas–Texas A&M||Lone Star Showdown||Lone Star Showdown Trophy||118||1894||2011|
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. This denied Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, formerly in the Big Eight, two rivalry games per season, but did allow most of the other traditional rivalries to be played home-and-home. After Nebraska and Colorado left, Big 12 play transitioned to an 18-game, double round robin schedule, allowing Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to once again play their rivals twice each season, in addition to adding second annual games to lucrative, nationally prominent series such as Texas-Kansas.
Kansas has the most Big 12 titles, winning or sharing the regular-season title 14 times in the league's 18 seasons. The 2002 Jayhawks became the first, and so far only, team to complete an undefeated Big 12 regular season, going 16–0. As of the 2016 season, Kansas had won or shared 12 straight regular-season league titles and 14 of the past 15.
|Season||Regular season champion (record)||Postseason champion|
|1999-00||Iowa State (14–2)||Iowa State|
|2000–01||Iowa State (13–3)||Oklahoma|
|2003–04||Oklahoma State (14–2)||Oklahoma State|
Kansas State (14–4)
|2013–14||Kansas (14–4)||Iowa State|
|2014–15||Kansas (13–5)||Iowa State|
In 2004–05, Oklahoma won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 71–63 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2005–06, Texas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 80–55 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2007–08, Texas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas based on its 72–69 victory over the Jayhawks.
In 2012–13, Kansas won the post-season tournament seeding tiebreaker over Kansas State based on its 59–55 victory in Manhattan and 83–62 win in Lawrence.
NCAA tournament performance
Cumulative member records
Big 12 era games
|School||Conf Ws||Conf Ls||Conf W %||Total Ws||Total Ls||Total W %|
Conference records do not include conference tournament games, only regular season conference games
|School||Year Started||All Time Ws||All Time Ls||All Time Win %|
The top 8 teams compete in the conference tournament at the conclusion of each season. Iowa State has not sponsored baseball since dropping its intercollegiate program after the 2001 season.
Number of baseball titles by school
- As of the completion of the 2015 tournament.
|School||Appearances||W-L||Pct||Tourney Titles||Title Years|
|Nebraska||10||28–10||.737||4||1999, 2000, 2001, 2005|
|Texas||13||26–22||.542||5||2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2015|
|Texas A&M||13||24–18||.571||3||2007, 2010, 2011|
*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.
Men's Basketball (1):
Women's Basketball (3):
Women's Bowling (5):
Men's Cross Country (6):
Women's Cross Country (2):
Men's Golf (4):
Women's Gymnastics (2):
Men's Outdoor Track (3):
Women's Outdoor Track (7):
Men's/Women's Skiing (4):
Men's Swimming (7):
Men's Tennis (1):
Women's Volleyball (3):
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.
|Big 12 National Championships|
|School||Total titles||Titles as a member
of the Big 12
|NCAA and AIAW titles||Notes|
|Texas||56||10||46||UT has 4 recognized football titles and 4 AIAW titles|
|Oklahoma||30||11||23||OU has 7 recognized NCAA football titles|
|West Virginia||22||4||19||WVU has 3 pre-NCAA rifle titles|
|Iowa State||18||0||18||ISU has 5 AIAW titles|
|Kansas||13||2||11||KU has 2 Helms basketball titles|
|TCU||5||0||4||TCU has 2 recognized football titles|
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 – 141 (148 including 7 football division championships)
- Baylor – 67 
- Oklahoma – 65 (73 including 8 football division championships)
- Oklahoma State – 62 (63 including 1 football division championship)
- Kansas – 32 (33 including 1 football division championship)
- Iowa State – 17 (18 including 1 football division championship)
- Texas Tech – 17 (17 including 1 football division championship)
- Kansas State – 14 (18 including 4 football division championships)
- West Virginia – 6
- TCU – 4
- Nebraska – 71 (80 including 9 football division championships)
- Texas A&M – 61 (64 including 3 football division championships)
- Colorado – 27 (31 including 4 football division championships)
- Missouri – 10 (12 including 3 football division championships)
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