As the low hum of Big 12 expansion continues, billionaire Texas booster Red McCombs has thinks the conference should add the University of Houston to the fold, according to a report from hookem.com's Suzanne Halliburton.
McCombs cast his lot with the Cougars during a radio interview in San Antonio on Monday.
"I think we need to add two teams to the Big 12 and should have done it two years ago. The first one should be the University of Houston then it would be your choice of several others."
Just a few days ago, another Texan billionaire, Tilman Fertitta, came out in favor of adding Houston to the Big 12. Fertitta just happens to be the chairman of the University of Houston System Board of Regents, and he also said that Texas was too scared to bring the Cougars into the conference. Fertitta also made the case that adding Houston to the Big 12 would help stop the conference's eroding mindshare in the Houston area following Texas A&M's jump to the SEC.
"When it comes to eyeballs, all you have to do is look at what we did at the end of the year," Fertitta said. "What I don't like -- and I'm concerned about -- as a Houstonian is that the SEC is starting to own Houston. ... There's more talk about the SEC than there is the Big 12.
"I just don't understand the Big 12 not wanting to own Houston, Texas, which is soon to be the third-largest populous in the United States. To me, it's a no-brainer. I'm just kind of disappointed and shocked it's not an automatic."
Is McCombs' statement coming just days after Fertitta's a case of "Oh, you think we're scared? Well we ain't scared of anything!"? Maybe! McCombs said the Big 12 should've added Houston two years ago, but it's fairly easy to envision a couple billionaire Texans deeply involved with college athletics letting their egos do the talking.
Last we heard from McCombs, he was voicing his, well, displeasure with Charlie Strong's hiring back in 2014, calling it "a kick in the face" and saying Strong would be "a fine position coach, maybe a coordinator." McCombs was also bullish on Texas' chances of hiring Nick Saban instead, just in case you forgot we lived through Nick Saban to Texas rumors.
The last round of conference realignment trained people to view prospective conference additions first and foremost by the number of television sets they could bring to the table. The landscape has changed in the past five years, though, and the never-ending money train from TV networks doesn't seem quite as never-ending thanks to cord cutting.
Houston wouldn't make the most sense in terms of adding new markets for a potential Big 12 Network, but if that calculus won't be the driving factor for choosing new conference members, Houston does make a lot of sense in terms of geography and historical ties.
Or maybe all you have to do is say Texas is scared.