Tuesday, Big 12 Expansionpalooza 2016 was supposed to finally hush up for a while. Instead, it roared back to full life, as the conference announced it’s considering expansion by as many as four teams and advised all interested parties to reach out.
You already know the long list of teams elbowing each other for entry into the conference.
- Cincinnati sent these promo materials to the conference and appears like a top contender.
- UCF has talked academics trash about superior academics schools.
- Houston gave the Big 12 a campus tour.
- Colorado State has argued it's not that far.
- UConn appears in astoundingly many rumors.
- Memphis has broken out Justin Timberlake.
- Someone will growl at you from behind a tree if you don't mention Boise State, NIU and USF while doing these lists.
- And BYU's now admitted it wants in, which isn't excellent for all other candidates.
Those are new teams. What about old teams?
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder not only stumped for the conference, but claimed multiple teams that have left wish they hadn’t:
"I may be wrong and other people may see it differently, but I don’t think anyone could be in a better situation than the teams we have in our conference. I’ll tell you what. There are teams that left our conference right now that wish they could get back in our conference."
When asked to clarify, he said, "Two I know of."
The coaching legend has been saying for a while that he’d like to reconvene the gang, specifically wanting Nebraska to return from the Big Ten.
Here’s my best guess at a ranking of former Big 12 schools by their likelihood of considering a return:
- Nebraska, when Bill Snyder is president. Otherwise, nobody is giving up Big Ten money.
- Nobody is giving up SEC money, so no Mizzou or Texas A&M.
Compared to the Big Two conferences, the Pac-12’s in a rough spot. Its schools are bringing in about the same money as the Big 12’s are, despite a conference TV network. Pac-12 realignment wargame scenarios have gone from courting Texas to courting Houston.
Going .500-ish in the Big 12 for about the same money, while having more access to historical recruiting grounds in Texas and old rivalries? Colorado leaving the Pac-12 after just five sad years wouldn't be that crazy.
Might not be that many hard feelings either, right? The Buffs were courted by the Pac-10 before the Big 12 even formed, but chose to stay. And when they left, they appeared to just be the first of many out of Dodge.
(This could raise the question of where Colorado would rank among the non-powers currently being considered, but ... well, an effective counterargument would take an awkwardly long time. Minus conference money, Colorado and Houston brought in about the same revenue in 2015. The Buffs halved a national title 26 years ago and once knocked Texas out of a BCS Championship, though. And they have an ever-expanding, Power 5-sized football stadium and have made four of the last five NCAA Tournaments. Whatever, Boulder is nice.)
So if you expand by four ... how about BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado and whoever? OR JUST ADD FOURTEEN TEAMS.
What changed things for the Big 12? Well, the ACC got a network deal from ESPN, so the Big 12 will add a couple mid-majors! You bet, the Big 12 actually said that. Insert one of those "1. Do something, 2. ???, 3. PROFIT!" memes.
Bill C team of the day: Iowa, which will be about as good as last year, but with a less inflated record.
Nick Saban called Deshaun Watson the best player he’s faced since Cam Newton. This, like all things, has made some Ohio State fans mad.
First it was "My Boo" by Ghost Town DJs, and now it’s Michigan, Tennessee and Washington. 2016 is a year of '90s revival.
Florida State will follow Notre Dame on Showtime’s Hard Knocks-style show, Tomahawk Nation reports.
Let’s check in on the politics, where Lou Holtz is toting a Crown Royal bag and thus firing off confusing immigration takes. No St. Patrick’s Day for you, Coach?
Elsewhere in politics, the GOP speaker is out here telling Aggies and Longhorns to root for each other. Paul, this is the worst analogy any human has ever uttered. Wisconsin fans rooting for Marquette sometimes does not equate here.
Baylor and the Big 12 had a long meeting, which appears to have pleased the conference.
Tennessee added commits from seven stars’ worth of brother.
ESPN’s Tom Luginbill picks Texas to win the Big 12. That’s crazy, and I LIKE IT.
PREVIOUS: Sure, get rid of kickoffs.
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