Memphis is home to both the University of Memphis Tigers and FedEx. The latter is hoping to help the former into the Big 12, with ESPN's Jake Trotter reporting this week that the corporation is willing to sponsor Big 12 things up to and including a Big 12 Championship.
"If Memphis gets a Power 5 invitation, FedEx is the reason," commented CBS Sports' Gary Parrish. "Made the Big East happen, too."
With that in mind, let's find a corporate champion for the other major Big 12 expansion candidates, and let's take it all about 0 percent seriously. If your school isn't here, please consult this list of teams it would be totally fine to add to the Big 12, in order to stop talking about the Big 12.
BYU: Well, the LDS Church is sitting on billions of dollars, and the overarching mission of BYU athletics is to further that church. But that's not all. Via the BYU folks at Vanquish the Foe:
The Cougars could lean on Marriott, who could hold every sportswriter's hotel points hostage until they endorsed the bid. If they need salesmanship, they could always tap the thousands of returned missionaries, fresh off trying to talk to strangers.
But a conference bid needs more. You need money and power. The Cougars can just ask BYU graduate Mitt Romney. He's rich, and he's not doing anything super important right now.
Plus, he can get Imagine Dragons to play at a Big 12 Championship.
Tulane: New Orleans expert Elena Bergeron recommends the Big 12 receive a gaudy Mardi Gras Parade float. A giant orange cow riding a bed of money and orbited by a purple frog, a green bear, a red bird and a bunch of wild cowboys? Yeah, that'll fit all this. Also, Popeye's is actually headquartered in Atlanta, but I won't tell the Big 12 that if you don't.
Boise State: Fitness retailer Bodybuilding.com is headquartered in Boise. Without it, we would not have the Internet's only argument that outlasted the Big 12 expansion debate:
Don't you want that kind of longevity and flexibility, Big 12?
Cincinnati: The detestable Skyline Chili is the first that came to your mind. Proctor & Gamble could bankroll the Big 12's expenses until the end of time. However, I propose United Dairy Farmers. Even though it's only a small chain of ice cream shops, it sounds like a large agricultural trade consortium. If the Heartland's Big 12 can't go for that, it's time to hit up the Big Ten.
Colorado State: People such as Big 12 presidents make excellent financial decisions after enjoying the products of breweries, and the Fort Collins area has so many breweries.
UConn: Connecticut is more Texas than I ever realized, after hearing from Aman Kidwai, manager of The UConn Blog:
Two of the most influential Texans are from Connecticut. Our nation's 41st president, George H. W. Bush, grew up in Fairfield County (part of the New York City metro area, if you happen to care about such things). His son, our 43rd president, was born right here in New Haven!
We all know alcohol, gambling and sports have a lengthy relationship. Worldwide alcohol producer and distributor Diageo, whose North American headquarters are in Stamford, won't be afraid to toss around Captain Morgan, Johnnie Walker or Guinness money to get UConn into the Big 12. The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos will happily ante up.
If brute force is your game, look no further than the Colt Manufacturing Company, Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky, makers of world-famous helicopters, and military aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, the namesake of UConn's football stadium.
To sum up, Connecticut produces Republican presidents, booze and explosions. How are we not already in the Big 12?
USF: Tampa expert Ryan Nanni:
It's easy to think of Tampa/St. Pete as nothing but strip clubs, beaches and abandoned Borders bookstores. But we're also home to some of the best Cuban food you can find, the largest collection of Salvador Dali art outside of Europe and many yet-to-be-abandoned Barnes & Noble bookstores.
But our commercial crown jewel? The Home Shopping Network, a business devoted to reaching out to the easily persuaded and fashion-comatose, giving them things they neither need nor, deep down, want.
If we can keep selling Tony Little Gazelles in 2016, we can definitely sell a Kansas-Texas Tech game at 9 Eastern on a Friday.
Houston: Only New York City has more Fortune 500 companies. The economic might of the energy industry could bury the Big 12 in cash and do it while wearing diabolical boots. I'm staggered by the name of behemoth company Plains All American Pipeline; that's what the B1G thought it was getting by adding Nebraska. Houston also houses FlightAware and Men's Wearhouse, meaning it's the biggest profiteer of the coaching carousel every December.
However, I propose a collaboration between Rap-A-Lot Records and Swisha House, in the spirit of the city's many rappers welcoming freshmen players on Signing Day and Tom Herman getting a grill from Paul Wall. If that fails, this will get Houston into the SEC:
UCF: Disney is headquartered in California, and Disney World is its own made-up city in the Orlando metro area, but we'll count it. I propose a day at Hollywood Studios, followed by the Epcot world drinking tour. Those are Disney World's two tolerable parks for olds, Epcot because of the world drinking and Hollywood Studios because it's even fun sober!
OK, let's do this:
- France: Champagne in my right hand and a cognac slushy in my left. I paid [mumbles] dollars for this and would happily spend [mumbles] dollars again. Ice cream thing is good.
- United Kingdom: Samuel Smith and Innis & Gunn at the same kiosk. Not even a pub. A kiosk. Can't even imagine the pub.
- Morocco: Good food with plants in it, giving your mind a bargaining chip with your body for when Mexico's queso-and-margaritas duo is hollering. Designed by the real Morocco, so you get to feel less like a tourist.
- Japan: Most of these countries are Street Fighter II caricatures, like how Americans perceived them in the 1980s. Japan supplements with some modernity, at least, like in the department store that sells every Japan thing our American minds can imagine.
- China: My daughter liked the gymnastics show and the red-bean ice cream.
- Canada: There's a Martin Short show. We didn't go to it, but that's amazing.
- Mexico: Your neighborhood's Tex-Mex joint, but with a glowing Aztec-ish temple in the basement of a bigger Aztec-ish temple.
- America: The loudest music by far, appropriately. I used the pulled pork sandwich and beer to gauge the relative quality of the other countries, figuring I could compare Epcot America to actual America and establish a grading scale. The sandwich was aware of its shortcomings. The Yuengling was $7.75.
- Germany: Hilarious beer lines. Every grownup looks at this list of countries and has the same idea. If you're the first person in line because you sprinted to drink beer at 9 a.m. (hero), I'm sure Germany is great. Otherwise, commit resources to the UK or Canada.
- Italy: I'm told the pizza is excellent, but it's only at a sit-down restaurant that closes somewhat early. Rampant availability is all I ask of pizza.
- Norway/Queen Elsa's castle: No one knows why Norway is here, so it's being transformed into the kingdom from Frozen, as if that's a real country. I'm serious. (I'm mad you can't pound a tankard of viking mead. Replace this semi-fictional country with Brazil.)
Bill C team of the day: BYU, which could really use a huge season right about now.
Cool news, Bama's getting better at something. Cool, fun. That's fun and enjoyable for everyone.
This is the best quick explanation of LSU fandom you'll ever read.
The 1986 season showed your best teams aren't always your championship teams. Penn State is the example here.
Tulane's beautiful blue uniforms will alter your Big 12 expansion opinions by at least .0001 percent.
Houston vs. SMU was a super tame rivalry until Tom Herman talked that talk.
Ole Miss seems to be ruling out the idea that those Laremy Tunsil texts were total hoaxes.
With all this talk about whether Texas should give up and join a Big 12 Network, um, does anybody even wanna pay for a Big 12 Network in 2016?
FSU might have the country's best defender, and he's only an underclassman.
MARK MAY TWEETED. A look at the bizarre history of his astoundingly bad Twitter feed shows why that's exciting.
Hello, here's Mark Richt exercising in a 1982 Italian jeans commercial.
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