The Big 12 Conference has been wanting to add on at least two more schools for the past few years, and the first round of possible expansion team cuts have been revealed.
Several years ago, the Big 12 Conference did indeed used to have 12 teams in it. Colorado and Nebraska took off before the 2011 season and Missouri and Texas A&M were gone the next season. The conference then welcomed in TCU and West Virginia to sit at a solid ten members (while the Big Ten had 12 members… Anyone else confused by that?).
Anyway, with the conference sitting at ten schools, the hope is that the Big 12 will expand to add another two schools to make it a “12-school” conference once again.
Chip Patterson of CBS Sports was kind enough to provide a list of the schools that made the cut for the expansion. Here they are:
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- Air Force
- Colorado State
- South Florida
Out of all of these schools, BYU, Cincinnati, Memphis, and UConn would be my personal picks to win the two spots. The last three have had recent success in both football and basketball, and BYU was a fun team to watch in football last season.
Could you imagine Kansas and UConn squaring off in basketball twice a year every season? That’d be a lot of fun!
Another realistic one would be Houston, whose football team was a top-25 ranked squad last year. Their basketball program hasn’t been relevant in awhile, but my guess is that these picks will ultimately come down to which football teams have been the best over the years.
Out of all of these schools, Houston probably has the best football program right now. They’d add yet another Texas school to the conference, but maybe that’s where the biggest draws are coming from.
Temple would be interesting due to them being in Philadelphia. That’d be a huge market for the conference, and it’d be nice to have someone a little closer to West Virginia.
As for the schools that didn’t make the count, they’re as follows:
Of course, Kansas City has a huge interest in how this will shake up because our lovely city is the host site for the Big 12 tournament in basketball every spring.
- Arkansas State
- Boise State
- East Carolina
- New Mexico
- Northern Illinois
- San Diego State
None of those not making it in isn’t surprising in the least bit. I highly doubt that Arkansas State had much of a shot at all at making it into the Big 12.
According to Brett McMurphy and Jake Trotter of ESPN, the next step is for each school to have a representative make their pitch as to why their school should be chosen. The conference is hoping to have a decision made on who will be added (if any) by October 17th.
The Big 12 used to be one of the most fun conferences to follow in college sports. As a Nebraska fan, I loved watching my Cornhuskers play Missouri and Oklahoma every season (in football obviously), but once they took off for the Big Ten and two more schools left the following season, I no longer had a rooting interest in the conference.
Of course, Kansas City has a huge interest in how this will shake up because our lovely city is the host site for the Big 12 tournament in basketball every spring. It’d be pretty cool to go out to the Sprint Center and see the Big 12 championship title between Kansas and UConn.
It’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out, but I do miss the days of the Big 12 being a “Midwest” and Texas only type conference. But hey, West Virginia could be the midwest of the East coast, I guess.