BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston considered top candidates for Big 12 expansion, sources confirm

Mike Aresco, AAC commissioner, discusses conference realignment. He also discusses how his conference fits in with the future of college athletics. (1:46).
Four potential candidates for the Big 12 expansion are being considered by sources. Sources confirmed to ESPN that the four top candidates in BYU and UCF, Cincinnati, Cincinnati, and Houston were invited to the Big 12's annual college football season.

Last week, a four-member subcommittee consisting of two athletic directors and two presidents of universities from the Big 12 met to discuss possible expansion. To approve potential expansion, the conference needs eight of its 10 current members. When Oklahoma and Texas leave for the SEC, the Big 12 will only have eight members.

Sources said that BYU is the FBS independent and is the most talked about expansion candidate. UCF and Cincinnati, American Athletic Conference power, are also on the Big 12's radar. Houston was a long-debated candidate for expansion in the Texas-centric league. However, there has been recent support to add the school.

When it was exploring expansion, the Big 12 looked at all four schools but ultimately remained at 10.

UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston would have to give American 27 months notice. Each must also pay an exit fee in the amount of $10 million to be allowed to join another conference. UConn could leave the league earlier in 2019, but had to pay $17 million more for the exit fee.

Except for football, all other sports teams at BYU compete in the West Coast Conference. From 1999 to 2010, the school's football team was part of the Mountain West before becoming an FBS-independent.

The Athletic reported the first time about the four schools that were attracting the most attention as possible additions to Big 12.