Report: 1 conference is considered a threat to take all 8 remaining Big 12 teams
The Big 12 believes the American Athletic Conference (AAC) is a threat to take all eight remaining Big 12 members, according to a report.
That’s per CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, who cites sources inside the Big 12. The AAC currently has 11 members.
On Wednesday night, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby accused ESPN of participating in a conspiracy to destabilize the conference so Oklahoma and Texas don’t have to pay exit fees if they leave the Big 12 before 2025.
If the Big 12 implodes, ESPN would also not be liable for the remaining four years of its agreement with the conference. The World Wide Leader is also the primary rights holder for the AAC, but at a much lesser cost.
“I’m absolutely certain [ESPN was] involved in it with the [American] trying to poach our members,” Bowlsby told Dodd.
Bowlsby said he had “irrefutable” proof that ESPN was attempting to manipulate current Big 12 members into joining another conference. The Big 12 issued a cease and desist letter. ESPN denied any wrongdoing.
The AAC has been aggressive in pursuing the remaining Big 12 schools, per multiple reports. However, the other power conferences — the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC — have reportedly been less enthusiastic.
This all stems from Oklahoma and Texas’ decision to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC. The Sooners and Longhorns are expected to be officially invited to the SEC on Thursday and will accept those invitations on Friday.