University of Cincinnati: Big 12 invites Bearcats to join conference

The University of Cincinnati appears to be headed to a new conference and a higher level of competition.

The Big 12 announced Friday morning it has invited the Bearcats along with fellow American Athletic Conference members Central Florida and Houston along with BYU to join the conference.

They would bolster the conference as it prepares for the exit of Texas and Oklahoma, who both accepted invitations to the SEC last month.

BYU and Houston announced Friday morning they have accepted its invitation while the other schools have meetings planned to discuss — and presumably accept — the invitations Friday afternoon.

Among the first to react were local recruits.

Miamisburg offensive lineman A.J. Salley, who verbally committed to UC earlier this month, tweeted, “So who wants to come play power 5 football at The University of Cincinnati?”

Northmont receiver Javien Brownlee, whose recruitment is still open, noted his first offer is now from a Power 5 school.

They are both members of the class of 2023.

Cincinnati (and others) previously tried to join the Big 12 five years ago but was rebuffed when the league opted not to expand.

The Big 12 currently is one of five conferences — along with the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Pac 12 — that has the ability to set its own rules within the NCAA, though that could change soon.

The organization that governs most of college athletics announced last month it is planning a constitutional convention in November that could yield dramatic changes to the structure of the NCAA.

About the Author