CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Big 12 expansion talk is back on and, this time, it may just happen.
In a surprise move, the Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday it will allow its commissioner to explore expansion candidates to add to their 10-team conference.
The conference's board of directors met in Texas and heard presentations from consultants on expansion. The conference commissioner said the addition of two or four teams is on the table and hasn't yet been decided. The commissioner added it's conceivable new schools could join as soon as 2017 or 2018.
Several schools, including UC, have been working behind the scenes for months to best position themselves for inclusion in case the Big 12 decided to expand.
A UC spokesperson told FOX19 Now, "we'll comment only when there's something to comment on." Adding, the school didn't want to jeopardize their chances of joining one of the top conferences in the country with public statements.
The Bearcats currently compete in the American Athletic Conference, but a move to the Big 12 would be more profitable and entertaining with big schools like Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas as regular opponents.