Big 12 format keeps schedule in limbo

Texas Sports Nation // College
Photo of Joseph Duarte

The UH non-conference schedule is up in the air while awaiting word on Big 12 schedule format for 2023.

Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Any changes to future University of Houston non-conference football schedules are on hold until the Big 12 decides on a schedule format for a possible 14-team league, coach Dana Holgorsen said. 

Depending on the schedule format for when the Big 12 adds four new schools — a move that is expected for the 2023 season — Houston could have one non-conference game to replace for next season. As of now, UH has a non-conference game at Kansas scheduled for Sept. 16, 2023, in Lawrence, Kan. That will become a Big 12 game, which leaves only home games against UTSA and Sam Houston and a road game at Rice on the 2023 non-conference schedule.

Holgorsen said UH continues to look at how the non-conference schedule may be impacted with the move from the American Athletic Conference, but any finalizing of future schedules must wait until the Big 12 decides on an eight- or nine-game league format. 

“We won’t be able to do anything until we figure out what the conference format is like,” Holgorsen said at the Big 12 spring meetings, where UH is participating this week for the first time. “Are we playing eight conference games? Are we playing nine conference games? Nobody knows about that. But when you switch conferences and your schedule gets blown up like that, it gives you leverage to get out of any game (contractually) that you possibly can.”

The Big 12 is expected to be a 14-team league that includes Texas and Oklahoma for possibly two seasons. A final decision on the schedule format, including whether the new-look Big 12 will have divisions, is expected when presidents and athletic directors meet at the end of May in Irving.