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: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:35 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Texas and Oklahoma will never leave to go to the PAC 12.  Texas and Oklahoma on thier own make the BIG 12 very viable, no matter who else is in the league.

Since: Aug 12, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:11 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Will coneference realignment ever end!  The NCAA should put a stop to this, it's getting out of hand.  What's going to happen in the long term is Texas and Oklahoma are going to leave for the Pac-12 anyways, so does this even matter.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:08 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Memphis football might hold it back.  If they drop the sport I see them in the Missouri Valley for Basketball.  I actually thought the Big Ten should have sought out Memphis.  Memphis is also a way to get "east Arkansas and northern Mississipi" the same way Cincinnati can get Northern Kentucky.

Since: Oct 18, 2008
Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:01 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

moutanieer I agree that New Mexico shouldn't be forgotten along with Colorado St if the Big 12 move on to 16 teams.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:51 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

They will take Louisville and make the umpteeth call to Notre Dame.

Cincinnati will have to wait around on the Irish.

I don't think the Big 12 wants to get to the 12 teams until Notre Dame is completely off the radar.

Notre Dame is the ultimate tease, but since Cincy will always be available.  There is no rush to grab both UL and UC.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:22 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

While I agree with much of what you wrote, you're incorrect about some of the facts regarding Cincinnati vs. Louisville.  Cincinnati has a stronger academic reputation (top 25 public research university), substantially larger enrollment (40K), larger alumni base, larger television market and world renowned campus in Uptown Cincy.  While the athletic budget trails Louisville, the program ROI is hard to argue with--3 Big East titles in the past 4 seasons.  And Cincy has access to an NFL stadium with 65K+ seating; larger and with more amenities than Louisville's.  This is not a knock on Louisville at all--they have a terrific program, strong tradition and have been a great rival/travel partner for Cincy through several conference affiliations.  Still, Cincy and Louisville with WVU could round out that eastern footprint for the B12 very nicely.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:17 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand


Nebraska hurt in Football and Baseball.   Big Revenue and Traditiion, but they were out the door the day the Big 12 formed as Uncle Tom never wanted to be in the same conference as Texas; which created the inequal revenue sharing.   Had Nebraska continued their dominance, no problem.   But once they hit a bad streak, they suddenly were on the other side of the revenue stream and didn't like it so hit the escape hatch.

Texas A&M has a great fanbase but an antiquated Ol' Boy network that can't get the chip off their shoulder about Texas.   Losing to Texas was the LAST thing they needed to do as it'll be a cold day in Aggieland before Texas signs up to play them again.    It will be interesting to see how TAMU develops outside that hate which is almost their single driving force - maybe it's about time they look to the future and build from there and in the SEC as there's not much of significance behind them; and going from #7 to ending 7-6 and losing at home consistently by 4th Qtr meltdowns with THAT talent was a joke.   Hope that Sumlin makes A&M more than just another Mississippi St in the SEC.   Decent football, baseball, and basketball programs - so much raw potential but the leaders of the university not only consistently shoot themselves in the foot, they continue to re-load and keep on firing!

Missouri-mid level to occasionally good in football, basketball.   Fan base is one of the rudest and doesn't travel well (cost them a BCS Game because they didn't show up for the Big 12 Championship Game so the Orange took Kansas).   I don't see any change for Missouri and don't see the SEC gaining much from them as an addition outside of an unhappy camper in about 5-7 years; then welcome to what the Big 12 has had for the last 20 with them.   Missouri is not a Southern school and I believe that the SEC will quickly regret the addition of the Columbia Tigers.

Colorado-was a power and the balance to Nebraska for the North, but fodder for the South; rarely a great program post Big 8 days.  They are a Pac-10 team at heart and not missed.   Football was their only major contribution and rarely effective.   Colorado is in the correct conference for their demographics and the Big 12 is no worse the wear.   It does open up Colorado though to having a true second major university affiliated in an AQ conference; just that the two primary candidates (Air Force and Co St) are even lesser than Colorado was but the Big 12 affiliation could make either one the primary school of the state pretty easily.

So losing one great Football program, two great Fanbases - yes.   Two medium schools that will be what they are in the Big 12 the same as the SEC?   No difference.    Gaining TCU is solidifying talent in the state but a "protective move" because of their recent success but don't know if they can sustain it.     Gaining West Virginia maybe extends the conference footprint too far but in this day of travel, doesn't really affect the real outcome.    West Virginia is a great football program and probably the most natural fit to the way the Big 12 programs play football - they easily fit better into the slot left by Missouri and A&M.

Adding Louisville would be adding to the footprint and on par with the Missouri programs so that's a trade-off (IMHO).   The benefit to Louisville is huge and extending the footbprint of the Big 12 is a good tradeoff.     Gaining a Cincinnati and or Tulane or other would strictly be for future with the growth of the Big 12 footprint.   Honestly - there are not any other Big Schools out there that make sense; Central Fla is huge but still primarily commuter college; Notre Dame - belongs in the Big 10 but if it doesn't start winning, the dollars won't continue flowing and at some point will need to align to conference.    BYU is a "large" mid-major with a big International following; but otherwise the pickings are pretty slim.

I think that the SEC was basically set and by adding TAMU and Missouri, they actually just subtracted by addition.   They added potential by bringing in TAMU but Missouri is an unhappy camper that will prove problematic for the SEC down the line IMHO.   Vanderbilt seems to be the SEC version of Baylor; basically a whipping boy most years.    Kentucky is the SEC version of the Big12 Kansas - one major sport but only flashes for the revenue sport of football.   The SEC was a pretty homogenious group but with Missouri and TAMU and S Carolina, I think we'll see some political divisions pop up down the road; along with Kentucky and Vanderbilt - but not as long as the SEC is on top.   But these things run in cycles and when things aren't so good - we'll see the issues pop up and willing to bet it'll be on the fringe of the SEC footprint we'll see it.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 3:00 pm

re:The Big 12 still looking to expand

We all know that football is king when it comes to college athletics.  Football is where the money is at, noone disputes this.  However the state of college athletics has become ubsurd due to the current trend of conference realignment.  The new Big East will now include a college that is on the west coast?  It is laughable to expect players from UConn or Rutgers to go play at San Diego St. and vice-versa.  The Big East has become ridiculous and it deserves to die.  All Big East affiliated scholls should just leave the conference and those schools that are set to join next year should reconsider.  The Big East was formed as a basketball conference and was a good football conference back when Miami, Va.Tech, BC, WVU, and Pitt were members.  Today the conference does not deserve its BCS status.  The Big East is not worth keeping around now that so many of its charter members have fled the league.  There is no reason to try to keep the comference on life support by adding Navy, Houston and SMU.  I say city schools like Providence, Villanova, Louisville, Cincy, Rutgers etc. should decide to create a new Metro-like basketball conference with schools like UCF, Memphis and other city schools east of the Mississippi River.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:55 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

What is this "independent slot" you speak of? The independents have no BCS spot; they are independent. Notre Dame has a special provision. And once they toss out the automatic bids, you are going to have to be in the top 10 to get a spot. It's not 1984.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 2:43 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

This would finally kill the Big East, which is exactly what it deserves.  The Big East is simply terrible.  Do not let one bowl game fool you.  On top of that, the team that did so well in that bowl game, West Virginia, is leaving the Big East for the Big 12.  The Big East is simply a disgrase to College Football.  If the Big 12 decides to take Louisville and Cincinnati, a move that they should have already done, they will gain back the respectability that they lost.  If you do not think that a 10 team Conference minus a Conference Championship game is as important as a 12 team Conference, I suggest you ask Oklahoma State.  Had they won a Conference Championship game, no matter who it was against, there is no way Alabama would have been selected to play in the BCS Championship game.

If the Big 12 takes Louisville and Cincinnati, then Boise State and San Diego State would be crazy to join the Big East.  The MWC would be a much more powerful Conference than the Big East minus all of those teams.  I said 6 months ago that the Big 12 holds the fate of the Big East.  Nothing has changed.  I hope that the Big 12 takes Louisville and Cincinnati and puts an end to the Big East, as a Football Conference.

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