The University of Houston is right in the middle of one of the largest and most diverse cities in America
There aren’t a ton of schools in America that happen to be located right in the midst of an incredibly large metropolitan area AND also happen to have a fairly well rounded athletics department.
That should make a school like the University of Houston a particularly interesting option for the Big 12. Located in the fourth largest city in America, UH is surrounded by great recruiting territory and has plenty of boosters invested in helping this team succeed.
Why this could work for the Big 12
The Houston Cougars have demonstrated a commitment to being good at multiple sports, not just focusing solely in on football. Houston is fresh off of one of the best men’s basketball seasons in school history, making it to the Final Four where they fell against the eventual national champ, the Baylor Bears.
Like with a lot of schools in Texas, Houston fans have shown they’re willing to throw a ton of money in support of their favorite team.
And it helps that billionaire Tilman Fertitta is a Houston alumnus and a Galveston, Texas native who is known to throw plenty of money around the campus to get his favorite team going in the right direction.
Some of that money likely helped land head coach Dana Holgorsen, who split with the West Virginia Mountaineers to move to Space City for $20 million. Holgorsen’s Houston Cougars haven’t taken off yet, but there’s still time for his brand of the Air Raid to get moving and help UH start winning at a higher level.
Why this wouldn’t make sense for the Big 12
Many throughout the Houston metro area aren’t as tied to the University of Houston as UH would like.
Among a long list of other fanbases represented in the Bayou City, there are a ton of Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma fans all throughout Houston and its surrounding areas.
Oh, and on top of that, there happens to be a long list of pro sports teams in the Houston, Texas area. From the Astros to the Rockets and Texans all the way over to the Sugar Land Skeeters, Houston Dynamo, and Houston Dash, there’s a lot going on in the world of Houston sports all the time.
So, even if you do land UH, it’s not like you’re getting six or seven million Cougar fans right there. It would be pretty fair to argue that Houston would benefit more from this possible marriage than the Big 12 would.
But that’s the situation the Big 12 would find with several of these teams. And if the Big 12 is gonna continue on, it’ll need to figure out what sort of compromise it must make.