The Big 12 is heading south of the border.
According to reports by The Houston Chronicle’s Joseph Duarte and The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, the Big 12 is nearing a deal to play football and basketball games in Mexico as soon as 2024.
Per Vannini, the Big 12 is planning to play multiple football games in Monterrey and men’s basketball games in Mexico City over multiple years, with the potential for more sports to be played in Mexico in the future. Duarte’s report indicated that the Big 12 is also aiming to play women’s basketball games in Mexico and that it could play baseball and women’s soccer games in Mexico in the future.
Specific dates and teams involved have not yet been determined, but Duarte says there have been discussions about a Houston vs. Kansas men’s basketball game in Mexico City.
If the agreement comes to fruition, the Big 12 would be the first U.S.-based conference to play college football games in Mexico. It would continue a trend of American sports leagues playing games in Mexico as the NFL, MLB and NBA all have in recent years.
According to Duarte’s report, the Big 12 could seek to play future games in Europe and Africa if the Mexico games go well. That comes on the heels of the Big Ten opening its season in Ireland last year, when Northwestern hosted Nebraska in a Week 0 game in Dublin.
Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has stated a desire for the Big 12 to be a “truly national conference” as the conference prepares to welcome BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF this summer. They join the conference as Oklahoma and Texas prepare to leave the conference in 2024, and the Big 12 has explored the possibility of further expansion, with its sights set on expanding to the West Coast and potentially poaching schools from the Pac-12.