Big 12 releases 14-team schedule with four new teams, Texas and OU

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

IRVING, Texas — The Big 12 released its long-anticipated 14-team football schedule, which includes its four new members for 2023 along with Oklahoma and Texas before their eventual departures to the Southeastern Conference.

Houston will be the first of the new teams to play a conference game, in Week 3 when the Cougars host former Southwest Conference rival and national champion runner-up TCU in the only league game Sept. 16. The other newcomers play their Big 12 openers the following week, when BYU is at Kansas, Central Florida goes to defending champion Kansas State, and Cincinnati hosts Oklahoma.

After playing a round-robin schedule as a 10-team league since 2011, the Big 12 will still have a nine-game conference schedule without divisions. But there will now be four league teams that each school will not play during the regular season. The two finishers in the conference standings will play in the Big 12 title game.

First-year Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark had said before the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 3 that he expected the schedule to be released in mid-December. It finally came out on the final day of January.

“I would like to thank our fans for their patience awaiting this historic schedule,” Yormark said. “Given its importance, the complexities of weaving in four new schools, adding a third time zone and aligning with key stakeholders we were very deliberate with its development.”

Oklahoma and Texas will move to the SEC no later than the 2025 season, though it is still uncertain if that could happen by 2024. The Sooners and Longhorns play their annual Red River rivalry game Oct. 7 at the State Fair of Texas. Each has four conference home games and four road games outside of that.

BYU is the only of the four new teams that will play both Texas and Oklahoma this season, going to Austin on Oct. 28 and hosting the Sooners on Nov. 18. The Cougars also play only one of their fellow newcomers, hosting Cincinnati for a Friday night game on Sept. 29.

Cincinnati is the only of the new quartet that will play each of the other three teams. The Bearcats host UCF and then go to Houston on the first two Saturdays in November.

Texas, which goes to Alabama on Sept. 9, plays at Houston on Oct. 21 in the first meeting between the former SWC rivals since 2002. The Longhorns host BYU the week after that. They don’t play UCF, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State or West Virginia in conference play.

In addition to its trip to Cincinnati in Week 4, Oklahoma plays at BYU on Nov. 18. The Big 12 teams the Sooners don’t play are Baylor, Houston, Kansas State, and Texas Tech.

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.