Big 12 Conference

college athletics conference operating primarily in the west-central United States

The Big 12 Conference is a college athletic conference that is part of the NCAA's Division I. It started when the Big 8 Conference joined together with four colleges from Texas that had been part of the Southwest Conference, and the first games in the Big 12 Conference were played in 1996.

University of Texas at Austin playing football against Iowa State University


School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Big 12
University of Arizona Tucson, Arizona 1885 Public Wildcats 2024
Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona[a] 1885 Public Sun Devils 2024
Baylor University Waco, Texas 1845 Private Bears 1996
Brigham Young University (BYU) Provo, Utah 1875 Private Cougars 2023
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public Bearcats 2023
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado 1876 Public Buffaloes 1996; 2024
University of Houston Houston, Texas 1927 Public Cougars 2023
Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 1858 Public Cyclones 1996
University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 1865 Public Jayhawks 1996
Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas 1863 Public Wildcats 1996
Oklahoma State University–Stillwater Stillwater, Oklahoma 1890 Public Cowboys &
Texas Christian University (TCU) Fort Worth, Texas 1873 Private Horned Frogs 2012
Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas 1923 Public Red Raiders & Lady Raiders[b] 1996
University of Central Florida (UCF) Orlando, Florida[c] 1963 Public Knights 2023
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 1850 Public Utes 2024
West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia 1867 Public Mountaineers 2012
  1. Tempe is home to the main campus. Arizona State has three other physical campuses in the Phoenix area.
  2. Texas Tech uses the "Lady Raiders" nickname for women's basketball. All other sports, whether men's or women's, use "Red Raiders".
  3. The UCF campus has an Orlando mailing address but actually lies in unincorporated Orange County.

Associate members


The Big 12 also has 13 "associate members", all of which play one sport in the conference.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Big 12
Big 12 Sport Main Conference
United States Air Force Academy USAF Academy, Colorado[a] 1954 Federal Falcons 2015 Wrestling Mountain West
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1831 Public Crimson Tide 2014 Women's rowing SEC
California Baptist University Riverside, California 1950 Private Lancers 2022 Wrestling WAC
University of Denver Denver, Colorado 1864 Private Pioneers 2015 Women's gymnastics Summit League
California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) Fresno, California 1911 Public Bulldogs 2019 Equestrian Mountain West
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 1839 Public Tigers 2021 Wrestling SEC
North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota 1890 Public Bison 2015 Wrestling Summit League
University of Northern Colorado Greeley, Colorado 1889 Public Bears 2015 Wrestling Big Sky
University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, Iowa 1876 Public Panthers 2017 Wrestling Missouri Valley
South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota 1881 Public Jackrabbits 2015 Wrestling Summit League
University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee 1794 Public Volunteers 2014 Women's rowing SEC
Utah Valley University Orem, Utah 1941 Public Wolverines 2015 Wrestling WAC
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming 1886 Public Cowboys 2015 Wrestling Mountain West

Future associate members


The Big 12 will add five more associate members in July 2024. One is returning after an absence of several years.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joining
Big 12
Big 12 Sport Main Conference
University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 1853 Public Gators 2024 Women's lacrosse SEC
Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 1930 Public Monarchs 2024[b] Women's rowing Sun Belt
San Diego State University San Diego, California 1897 Public Aztecs 2024 Women's lacrosse Mountain West
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma 1894 Private Golden Hurricane 2024 Women's rowing American
University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Davis, California 1908 Public Aggies 2024 Women's lacrosse Big West
  1. Basically all of the Academy grounds lie outside the city limits of Colorado Springs. The U.S. Census Bureau considers the Academy to be the census-designated place of "Air Force Academy", and the U.S. Postal Service calls it "USAF Academy".
  2. Old Dominion had been a women's rowing associate from 2014 to 2018.

Former members


Four schools have left the Big 12 since it was formed. Missouri would return to the Big 12 in 2021 as a wrestling-only member, and Colorado will return in 2024 as a full member.

School Location Founded Type Nickname Joined
Big 12
Big 12
Current Conference
University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, Colorado 1876 Public Buffaloes 1996 2011 Pac-12
University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 1839 Public Tigers 1996 2012 SEC
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Lincoln, Nebraska 1869 Public Cornhuskers 1996 2011 Big Ten
University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma 1890 Public Sooners 1996 2024 SEC
University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas 1883 Public Longhorns 1996 2024 SEC
Texas A&M University College Station, Texas 1876 Public Aggies 1996 2012 SEC


  • "Big 12 Conference". Retrieved 2023-07-25.