Big 12 Conference, originally Big 6 Conference, American collegiate athletic organization, composed of the Universities of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, and West Virginia universities. Kansas, the University of Nebraska, Oklahoma, the University of Missouri, Iowa State, and Kansas State had been members of the Missouri Valley Conference (formed in 1907) but split in 1928 to form the Big 6 Conference. It became the Big 7 when the University of Colorado joined the conference in 1948 and the Big 8 when Oklahoma State was added in 1959. The conference expanded in 1996 when four Texas universities (Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M University) left the Southwest Conference and joined the Big 8. As the Big 12, it was split into two six-team divisions, one of which consisted of the two Oklahoma and four Texas schools. The conference’s structure changed again when it was announced in 2010 that Colorado was departing to join the Pacific-12 Conference and that Nebraska was leaving to join the Big Ten Conference. In 2012 Missouri and Texas A&M left the conference to join the Southeastern Conference and were replaced by West Virginia and Texas Christian. Despite the reduction in conference membership to 10 schools, the Big 12 decided to keep its well-known name.
This article was most recently revised and updated byAdam Augustyn, Managing Editor, Reference Content.
- Orange Bowl
The champion of the Big 8 Conference (now the Big 12) was one of the participants in 38 of the 42 games from 1954 through 1995. In 1998 the Orange Bowl joined the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), and in 2014 it became part of the College Football Playoff semifinal…
University of Kansas
University of Kansas, public, coeducational institution of higher learning with a main campus in Lawrence, Kan., U.S. Its Medical Center campus is in Kansas City, and there is also a medical campus in Wichita. The university includes the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and 12 schools offering study in…
University of Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma, public, coeducational institution of higher learning in Norman, Oklahoma, U.S. It is part of Oklahoma’s State System of Higher Education. The main campus comprises 14 colleges, including those of architecture, fine arts, business, education, engineering, law, and arts and sciences. It offers a range of undergraduate, graduate,…