Big 12 Conference

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February 25, 1994
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Big 12 Conference
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8/31/2002
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The Big 12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Irving, Texas. The conference consists of ten full-member universities. It is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for all sports. Its football teams compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), the higher of two levels of NCAA Division I football competition. Its ten members, in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia, include eight public and two private, Christian schools. Additionally, the Big 12 has 11 affiliate members—eight for the sport of wrestling, one of which is also a member in women's equestrianism; one for women's gymnastics; and two for women's rowing. The Big 12 Conference is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in Delaware. The Big 12 Conference was founded on February 25, 1994. The eight members of the former Big Eight Conference joined with Southwest Conference schools Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Tech to form the new Big 12 Conference, which commenced competition on August 31, 1996. The conference's current 10-campus makeup resulted from the 2010–13 Big 12 Conference realignment, in which Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference, Colorado joined the Pac-12, and Missouri and Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference. TCU and West Virginia joined from the Mountain West and Big East Conferences respectively to offset two of the departing schools, bringing the conference to its current strength. The Big 12 Conference, like others involved in the realignment, has kept its name primarily for marketing purposes; the conference has high name recognition and remains one of the Power Five conferences which are considered the primary contenders to produce a College Football Playoff champion team in any given year. Attempts to rename the Big 12 to reflect its current strength would lead to confusion with the current Big Ten Conference (which currently has 14 teams). The Big 12 Conference commissioner is Bob Bowlsby.
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