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Some Big 12 coaches don't want Houston, for exactly the reason you think

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Allstate Sugar Bowl - Mississippi v Oklahoma State Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been maybe the loudest voice speaking against the prospect of the Big 12 expanding beyond its current 10 teams. He was vocal once more on Thursday, saying, "I don’t know what we’re doing."

Prompted by a reporter who brought up former Houston head coach and current Kansas State offensive coordinator Dana Dimel (who said the Cougars could be trouble for the Big 12's recruiting), Gundy confirmed one of his primary reasons is an interest in continuing to recruit Texas.

"The concern is, and where that comment is coming from, is if your northern schools put a southern school, and another school in Texas, in the same league, that essentially is going to pull recruits from all of us," Gundy said. "That’s what it comes down to."

"Anyone that’s not in Texas will have a more difficult time recruiting Texas if another Texas school gets in this league," he reiterated.

The common thinking is that giving Power 5 status to yet another Texas school means 25 or so more top Texas high schoolers per year who'll be able to play in their home states and at the highest level of competition.

Gundy has mined Texas throughout his decade as OSU’s head man. Sixty-four players on Oklahoma State’s 2016 roster hail from the state. Nine of the Cowboys’ 10 best all-time recruits were Texans, including Dez Bryant. All-Pro tackle Russell Okung came from Houston.

While Texas has at least as many talented high school players as any state, Gundy isn’t keen on dividing a pie that he’s already sharing with the state’s four Big 12 schools — and virtually every other school in the country — any further.

Coaches don't have final call on these decisions. School presidents do. But it's also important to note that in a recent ESPN survey of Big 12 head coaches, Houston tied BYU for the top spot, with five votes. That still meant five coaches who voted otherwise.

Houston does have the potential support of the Texas Longhorns' powerful administration, but not entirely for on-field reasons.

A few months ago, a billionaire UH booster said the Big 12's just scared of the Cougars.


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