The University of Houston, Cincinnati and UCF officially will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. The American Athletic Conference announced the schools had reached a deal Friday to exit their conference early. The schools had contracts that bound them to the AAC through at least 2024. The schools will each pay the AAC $18 million over the next 14 years to get out of those contracts a year early. The schools would have had to pay $10 million over four years if they left in 2024. UH will pay the original $10 million exit fee before 2025, then the remaining $8 million will be paid out over a 12-year period, according to UH athletic director Chris Pezman. When UConn left the AAC a year early to join the Big East, it had to pay the conference $17 million. BYU, who was an independent, also will join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. The additions of the four new members comes while Texas and Oklahoma are heading to the SEC. The Longhorns and Sooners have said they will stay in the Big 12 until their contracts expire in the summer of 2025, but there are talks that they could negotiate buyouts that would allow them to make the leap a year early. If Texas and Oklahoma are still around for the 2023 football season, which is likely, the Big 12 will have 14 members: Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCF and West Virginia. Eleven of those 14 teams made bowl games last year with Texas, TCU and Kansas being the only teams that missed out. Six of those teams finished last season ranked in the Top 20 (No. 4 Cincinnati, No. 5 Baylor, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 17 Houston, No. 19 BYU). "The competition will be fierce, but we are primed and ready to accept the challenge,\u201d UH president Renu Khator said. "I\u2019m grateful to AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco and his staff for their professionalism during our discussions. And while I look back with great pride on all we\u2019ve accomplished over the last decade, I\u2019m eager to set the bar even higher."\u00a0 The AAC already has made moves to replace their departing members, adding Rice, UTSA, North Texas, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic and UAB to the fold on July 1, 2023. "I would like to thank UCF President Alexander Cartwright, Cincinnati President Neville Pinto and Houston President Renu Khator \u2013 as well as Tulane President Michael Fitts, who is chair of our Board of Directors - for their efforts and leadership to arrive at a sensible resolution to the three schools\u2019 departure from the conference," Aresco said. "All three institutions enjoyed tremendous success under the American Athletic Conference banner, and all three were instrumental in taking the conference to great heights, both athletically and academically. We wish them the best and look forward to having them compete in our conference in 2022-23." All the movement trickles down to Conference USA, which will add Sam Houston State, Jacksonville State, Liberty and New Mexico State on July 1, 2023.