The Drama-Filled Creation of the Big 12 Conference

The rise in popularity of college football has led to conference realignments to maximize scope and monetary value. The first major wave hit in 1996 when the Big 8 and Southwestern Conference (made up almost entirely of schools from Texas) dissolved and most members migrated to the new Big 12, now known as one of the “Power 5” conferences. Sports Illustrated recaps the boardroom drama as schools maneuvered for the best deal, with some left scrambling for a seat when the music stopped.

The oral history of the birth of the Big 12, 8.16.2016