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: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:51 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

It is a combination of brand identity, attendance, market size, and market PENETRATION that makes for TV money.

The SEC does not have huge TV markets, but it has enough of the other variables to dwarf the Big East TV money.

A school can be in a major TV market and be invisible. 
North Texas does not bring the Dallas market simply by exisiting in the Metroplex.

Rutgers has never brought any of the New York market historically. 
Houston has no market share whatsoever in Texas.
Lakers pre-season games generate more buzz than San Diego State games.

So, the new Big East is truly kidding itself if simple market size is all they are looking at for TV deals.

They are just being silly now.  The Big East is a great basketball league.
Go back to the Big East roots.  Merge with some A-10 and CUSA team to rediscover its basketball-first perfection.

A basketball only Big East would really be the gold standard.  This hodgepodge abomination is a death sentence.

Since: Jun 18, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:49 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Would definately not be a shock to see Louiville join the Big 12. I would love to see the Big 12 conference continue to expand becausse i ultimately want a 12 team conference again no more no less. North- Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Louiville, West Virginia, (BYU/Cincinatti). South- Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor

Since: Sep 3, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:13 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Hope this is true.  As a WVU alum, I was hoping Louisville would get an invite around the same time we did.  I understand why the Big 12 had to wait though--until some of the dust settled and certain other things were worked out.  If Louisville and Cincinnati both get invites, not sure how this affects any of the new schools that accepted Big East bids.  I'm still convinced Rutgers and Connecticut are gone to the ACC and/or Big 10.  I guess the Big East becomes the Big Newcomers conference. 

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:38 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Love to see East Carolina being debated here......I would like to point out they have beaten Boise St  in recent times ....problems with ECU they suck at basketball and are no where near ready to play major programs......TV market area while they draw a large fan base at the games the TV market in Raleigh /Durham focuses on North Carolina State  , UNC and Duke after those three it is very hard to get any TV time even the newspapers do not give ECU the love they deserve. They are treated as the unloved step child of North Carolina Media and are not well known west of I95

Since: Oct 26, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:16 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Nobody wants BYU because they are to much like Notre Dame.You have to do this and that for both of them.Neither one of them are worth a Damm anymore anyway.West Virginia know thats louisville is coming next,then Cinny.THE BIG 12 WILL BECOME THE BIG 12 VERY SOON.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:59 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

dcpirate:  Attendance is impressive for ECU, no doubt.  The Dayton (OH) Dragons baseball team sells out every game and has broken all attendance records for minor league baseball but that doesn't earn them a spot in the major league or any television money.  ECU has a very strong football program but the "new Big East" was built for the bidding war in September predicted to yield revenue at or above the ACC deal.  In 2012, cable cares a lot less about fans in the seats than households in the ADI driving their advertising rates.  And with the proliferation of sports channels the need for live broadcasts is an insatiable beast; often destroying great rivalries, traditions and conferences in its path.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:01 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

INDYCAT: With the exception of Boise The Big East just put together their expansion solely based on market size. SDSU, (So Cal), Houston, SMU (Dallas) Navy ( DC/Baltimore) and UCF (Orlando). None of these programs with the exception of SDSU draws over 35,000. All are ranked in the lower half of the country for attendence. My question is simple if nobody in these huge markets are showing up for these games who would be home watching when the games are televised? 

Since: Aug 2, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:59 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Theycallmepro,  you should call youself, "theycallmestupid". In your regards to the University of Louisville. Basketball, no need for a response. Football, recovering nicely from the dumbarse kragflop years.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:45 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

I would have to think that to convince West Virginia to come to the Big 12, they had to offer West Virginia an assurance that they would at least consider additional expansion East of the Mississippi River (kind of like Boise State needed a western partner to join the Big East). If five or ten years down the line West Virginia is still the only team East of the Mississippi in the Big 12 I can't see them being happy about it.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:36 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Forget BYU--they danced around with the B12 and Big East in the last round and they're too entangled in their own TV Deal.  Same goes for Notre Dame; their administration and fans want no part of any football conference.  Still standing?  Louisville and Cincy and a cadre of non-BCS programs in TV markets you can't find with a magnifying glass.  Fans in the seats are great but that doesn't generate TV ad revenue.

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