Kansas basketball and football have been playing in the Big 12 since the league began competition 25 years ago in 1996.
Kansas basketball and football were charter members of the Big 12 conference in 1996 when the Big 8 added four teams from the Southwest Conference (Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Baylor). Even before that, the Jayhawks were charter members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which would eventually grow into the Big 8.
Kansas and the rest of the Big 12 will be celebrating the conference’s 25th season during the 2020-21 season despite the cloud of COVID-19 that’s currently surrounding the future of college sports.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had this to say about the impact of the virus on the celebration:
“While our nation is certainly in the midst of trying times, we still want to acknowledge this
significant Conference milestone. There have been many iconic individuals, teams and moments that have shaped our 25-year history and we look forward to reminiscing throughout the upcoming year.” (Via Big 12)
Per release, the conference plans on showcasing some of the more iconic Big 12 teams on social media to commemorate the anniversary. The Jayhawks should have at least a few teams that are recognized, including Kansas football’s Orange Bowl squad and Kansas basketball’s 2008 national title team.
Some other teams that might be showcased include the 2012 basketball runner-up team, and possibly the 2001-02 basketball team that went undefeated in conference play and also reached a Final Four.
The Big 12 could also mention the Jayhawks’ streak of Big 12 conference championships which lasted for 14 seasons. Overall, Kansas basketball has won 19 out of the 24 Big 12 conference titles, which is insane to think about.
Although the future of the Big 12 is still up in the air both in the short term (COVID-19) and long term (realignment), there’s no denying that it’s one of the premier conferences in the nation both on the court and on the field.