Blog Entry

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:27 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maybe you thought conferences were done expanding after all the movement we saw before the 2011 season started. After all, nobody was shuffling the deck during the season. Then on Tuesday it was announced that Navy would be joining the Big East for the 2015 season, and it looks like the dominoes have started falling again.

According to The Chronicle (subscription), the Big 12 is once again considering expanding the conference. While nothing is imminent, two sources told the paper that the Big 12 adding at least one new member is "very possible."

That new member would likely be Louisville, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Before it was announced that West Virginia would be joining the conference, there were reports that half the schools were split on which school they wanted to extend an invitation to. Half wanted West Virginia, half wanted Louisville.

An expansion committee plans to put together a report for the Big 12's Board of Directors next week. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz make up the committee. 

“I don’t want to send the message, ‘Oh, they’re getting ready to expand,’” Castiglione told The Chronicle. “But you’d be naïve to think there’s not instability still in our business.

“From a transition standpoint, we’re in position now to deal with the reality of our world. We’re going to make some evaluations and reach the best conclusion that helps us stabilize our long-term future.”

The conference seems willing to stay at 11 teams, much like the Big Ten did for years, if it adds Louisville, but if the return of a Big 12 championship game is the ultimate goal, it will have to add a twelfth school. As for which school that would be, BYU is being mentioned as a possibility again. Cincinnati has also been mentioned as an option in the past as well.

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Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 4:09 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Going back down the list, if ND, BYU and Air Force took themselves out 6 months ago, it's unlikely they're on board today for all the same reasons.  The only BCS league ripe for picking remains the Big East.  Seems to me the B12 would want Louisville AND Cincinnati for lots of reasons.  Among those, both have had BCS bowl experience and are rising football programs, both have national championships in basketball and bring great tradition on the hardwood, both have superb facilities for non-revenue sports, partly because they've already had to compete at the BCS conference level.  Travel costs for those non-revenue sports are a concern, but with Louisville and Cincy 100 miles apart, and WVU just a few hours drive east of Cincy you build on existing rivalries and save $.  And ask the Oklahoma fans who came to Cincy in 2010 for the game @ Paul Brown Stadium about the game day experience and what a great destination city Cincinnati is for a long weekend road trip.

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:15 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Air Force is out guys.  The Big 12 already approached them when Texas A&M was working things out with the SEC.  The Air Force AD stated he couldn't compete with the Big 12 for recruits.  Makes sense given that most starters in the Big 12 wouldn't make weight in the armed services. 

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:19 pm

Notre Dame to Big 12

That is interesting Jason, but there's only two scenarios in which Notre Dame would join any conference.  #1 they can't find a network willing to give them their own TV deal.  #2 there is no other way for them to play in a NCG.  I'm speaking in football terms, not other sports.  Despite the wishes of many college sports fans, Notre Dame's postion is not at all precarious.  If and when Big East football crumbles, the catholic schools would gladly have Notre Dame remain in the Big East for basketball and the so called non-revenue sports.

Since: Jan 26, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:54 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

I doubt the BigXII folks are visionary enough to attempt this but could be a real possibility.

Airforce would make a good Northern addition

Since: Jan 26, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:51 pm

Big Ten's plan is comming along as planned

Step 1: Create 12 school conference to show how lucritive it is with the championship games and the BTN

Step 2: Form an alliance with the Pac-12 for yearly match ups

Step 3: Watch the the Big East crumble, and Notre Dame need a new conference for non-football sports

Step 4: Offer Navy and Notre Dame the 13th and 14th spots in the Big Ten

Step 5: College football broadcasting world domination! merge Notre Dame's deal, the Pac-12 deal, and the BTN into a $15 Billlion network that ESPN must beg for highlight footage.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:42 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Dey: I would think that Cincy would be the logical choice. The program has made huge strides since it was basically a doormat in football if you go back to its days in CUSA or as an INDY. The Bearcats are an excellent example of what can happen if you pump money into an athletic program. For arguments sake I will make the case for some other programs.

I think Cincy is in the same boat that you see Houston, SMU, UCF and USF. You have crowds in excess of 85,000 for Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, and in your case Ohio State.  As a result all of these programs struggle to get 35,000 to its games. SMU doesnt get 22,000.

A school like BYU draws over 60,000 without any trouble plus it has the backing of Moormans across the nation. Since the Big 12 will be established in Kentucky and West Virginia would it be better off to establish itself in a new market?

Since the SEC stole 2 of its members would the Big 12 be better off trying to compete within that market by adding a team like USF. It opens Florida which is rich recruiting ground and allows the Big 12 to extend its footprint in a atate with a growing population. Considering USF plays its games where the Bucs do you dont have issues securing a lease either. 

In the end I think it makes sense to add Cincy however I dont consider it to be a slam dunk.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:07 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Does anyone seriously believe that if Louisville is invited to the Big12, Cincinnati won't be? C'mon we're right between both Louisville and WVU making traveling easier and cheaper.

Cincy has had revenue problems before but thats because we're trying to transform the surounding space around campus to look like an Ivy school's campus. So sorry we're sinking millions of dollars making our campus that more desirable for students and athletes to come to Cincy.

Then theres the stadium size we constantly hear about. Yes we have a stadium that only holds 35,000 but we have Paul Brown Stadium down the street that holds 65,000 and we can play there for any game. Besides we would only use that stadium once or twice a year if we were invited to the Big12 (we would play there for OU and Texas). I highly doubt Kansas, Kansas St., or Iowa St. fans will travel all the way here, buying enough tickets to warrant us moving to PBS.

Our football team has won the BE title 3 out of the last 4 years. I know I know that doesn't count for much in the Big East but you have to remember WVU and Louisville are in the Big East and now both are looking to go to the Big12. Also in those 3 titles we beat WVU twice to get there, so that has to be somewhat a measure of where our football team has come.

And lastly, in recent years many fans have jumped on the Bearcat bandwagon in Ohio mainly because OSU has been in trouble and because of that has been lackluster. With the addition of Urban Meyer fans will flock back but if Cincy is brought into the Big12 I think many more fans will stay or start watching Cincy, because we'll be playing Texas and OU every year or every other year. Besides fans can watch both teams on saturdays if the games aren't scheduled at the same time.

Cincy's football program has a lot of upside and not much negative but I think the thing that brings us into the Big12 will be our BBall program. WVU, Louisville, Cincy, and Kansas canmake for a solid BBall conference rivarling the Big East or ACC in time.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:39 am

The Big 12 still looking to expand

The Big East should die, with the catholic schools forming a basketball conference, and then another conference with good bball and mid-level football could form with: 

East Carolina
South Florida
Central Florida
FIU/FAU/Georgia St/UAB/USM or Tulane as the 12th.     

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:16 am

16 team Big 12

Sorry, apparently the tab doesn't work very well here.  Hopefully this is more legible.  This is what the Big 12 might look like as a 16 team super-conference with 4 4 team pods

East - WVU, Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers

Central - Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Kansas, Kansas St

North - Iowa St, Boise St, BYU, ???????

South - Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU 

Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 11:11 am

Tough decisions

I'm sure it's only a matter of time until the Big-12 adds Louisville.  They would make a great regional partner for WVU.  As a WVU fan, I have a hard time deciding who would be the best fit as a 12th member.  Cincinnati would also make a great regional partner and if the league was divided in two divisions Louisville and Cincy would help reduce travel for WVU. WVU recruits Florida heavily, so it would be nice to have South Florida for that reason.  Rutgers and WVU have a long history together, adding Rutgers would allow WVU to keep at least one traditional rivalry alive, so it would be nice to see them come in for that reason.

Just for the heck of it I wondered what the Big-12 might look like if they decided to become the first 16 team super-conference.  I realize this would make for a somewhat unwieldy alliance, and it's difficult to divide north/south or even east/west, but with all the talk of conferences eventually getting to 16 how does this sound? 

North  South   
CincinnatiTexas Tech
Iowa St. Oklahoma St
Kansas StSouth Florida
Boise St BYU or maybe Houston?

I think a better way to align a 16 team conference would be 4 team pods.  I think it makes scheduling better with 9 conference games for everyone.  There would be several problems though as some traditional Big-12 rivalries would be difficult to continue on an annual basis, and under this scenario there's no good place for South Florida.  I have no idea who would be a good fit as the 16th team in that case.  Another problem would be with 4 pods, how to decide which 2 teams play in the conference championship.

WVUOklahomaIowa StTexas
RutgersOklahoma StBoise StTexas Tech
LouisvilleKansas St???????TCU

Of course, a lot is going to depend on what TV has to say, but it's fun to speculate.  I think either way that's one heck of a 16 team super-conference. 

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