Things You Didn't Know About The Big 12
The main reason that the Big 12 was created was because of television rights issues. The College Football Association negotiated most of the Division I school media contracts. When the Southeastern Conference announced in 1994 that it would be leaving the CFA too (the Big Ten and Pac-12 had already left), it was the nail in the coffin for the CFA.
The way that college TV rights were negotiated was changed forever. Each conference decided that it wanted to negotiate TV deals on its own. This led to things like the Pac-12 Network and Big Ten Network. This also made other conferences realize that it would be more beneficial to join up and create one conference and one network.
The biggest conference merger was between the Big Eight and the Southwest Conference to create the Big 12. The deal became official and went into effect in 1996.
The original schools in the Big 12 Conference were Nebraska, Iowa State, Boulder, Kansas, Kansas State the Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State from the Big Eight, plus Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech from the Southwest Conference.
In 2010 another realignment took place. Texas A&M and Missouri joined the SEC. Colorado joined the Pac-12, and Nebraska went to the Big Ten. At the same time, TCU and West Virginia joined the Big 12 to give the conference its current 10 schools.
Since the realignment, and really in the past few years, the Big 12 has become a tennis powerhouse.
On the men's side, Oklahoma has been the NCAA team championship runner-up for the past three years (2014-16). Also, in 2014 and 2015, three of the four teams in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament were from the Big 12 Conference. This year, the Big 12 has six men's tennis teams -- four of which are ranked in the top 10 and two in the top five. The Big 12 has a great shot at taking the NCAA team title this year.
On the women's side, Baylor made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament in 2015. Oklahoma State made it all the way to the finals of the NCAA tournament last year. This year, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are ranked inside the top 10.
The amount of top teams in the Big 12 will make for an unbelievable conference tournament. The tournament will take place in Norman, OK, from April 27-30. You can watch all the way through the semis LIVE right here!