Simply a case of mistaken identity? Or did Baylor head coach Dave Aranda just let slip that Utah is joining the Big 12?

Earlier this week, Aranda made an appearance at the Waco Rotary to talk to Bears’ faithful (according to a video shared to the club’s YouTube page) and was asked toward the end about conference realignment. Everyone has speculated that Utah, Colorado, and the two Arizona schools could be future additions by the Big 12, which has already reached an agreement to add BYU.

Well, in Aranda’s answer about conference realignment, he (accidentally?) said that Utah is joining the Big 12 before praising BYU.

“I know that there’s still opportunity in our league (for expansion) and potential suitors,” Aranda said. “I think that’s pretty real and that’s kind of happening right now. There are talks that are happening right now.

“I love the league. Cincinnati coming in, and Utah coming in, UCF and Houston. I just think that there’s teams that fit the Big 12 mold, the culture, and I think the brands are going to be way stronger.”

Aranda went on to immediately say he thinks BYU can continue to grow its football brand in the Big 12 — similar to how Utah evolved once it joined the Pac-12…? — and force the rest of the league’s teams to take them seriously. “They’re going to get better and better,” Aranda said.

Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU will officially join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. All four additions were announced around the same time — in response to the SEC poaching Oklahoma and Texas — so it feels more likely Aranda just flipped the in-state rivals in his head. (Though that probably won’t go over well in Salt Lake City or Provo.)

But if conference realignment has taught us anything, it’s to embrace the randomness.

You can see Aranda’s full appearance below. The comment in question happens around the 36:10 mark.