Big 12 expansion becoming a hot development

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Big 12 conference, College Football

By Chris Bates

     With the news that TCU is joining the Big 12 conference to replace the departure of Texas A&M to the SEC, the conference is looking to add at least two more teams.  Missouri is the latest team looking to leave the Big 12.  Reports are they are applying for admission into the SEC to become the 14th member but the SEC isn’t interested in accepting them at this time.   All indications are that Missouri will remain in the Big 12 at this time.

Who is the conference looking to add?

     Reports indicate that the Big 12 is looking at sending invitations to Louisville and West Virginia, both members of the Big East Conference.  The Big East was home to TCU for next season but the Horned Frogs paid a $5 million exit fee to join the Big 12.  The Big East has since raised their exit fee to $10 million.  In late September, the Big East and the Big 12 were talking about a possible merger with the conference to become a “superconference” but those talks have since died down.  The Big 12 has had talks about adding Air Force as a possible member but Air Force has declined the invitation citing that they are not a good fit in the conference for recruiting purposes.  Reports are that the Big 12 has been looking to add BYU  as a member for some time and the Cougars initially wanted to remain independent but are now talking to the conference again.  If BYU joins and Missouri leaves, look for Cincinatti, Louisville and West Virginia to become hot targets for invitations.  Continue to monitor this expansion closely as updates will be provided on any new invitations or departures.

What should the Big 12 do?

      In my opinion, the Big 12 should look to add 2 more schools to get a conference championship game back.  Having just 10 teams for what used to be one of the best conferences in the country is not what college football fans want to see.  If the conference is able to add West Virginia that will give the Big 12 more credibility as WVU as been a solid football team for the last 5 years.  Revenue should and will go up as more teams join the Big 12.  I think it would even be a good idea for the conference to re-explore a merger with the Big East and have a 16 team conference such as the the Pac 12 was talking about doing last year but decided it was in their best interest to not expand to 16 teams.  The current state of the Big 12 conference continues to be a topic of interest around the college football landscape.

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