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Report: Big 12 still split on expansion

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While the college football world waits (some with bated breath) to see what will become of Florida State and the ACC, there’s another angle to the realignment story that should be addressed: will the Big 12 even expand?

According to one beat writer with knowledge of the league, that continues to be a divisive issue among its 10 members.┬áThe Tulsa World‘s Dave Sittler tweeted Sunday afternoon that, regarding expansion, four Big 12 schools are okay with the idea, four are one the fence, one is pushing hard in favor of it and one is pushing hard to prevent it.

That seems about right. You can create a general outline of which schools hold which opinions, but one is as obvious as it gets. The program pushing hard to prevent expansion? It rhymes with “Lexus.”

New Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said earlier this week that the “topic of expansion will be on every agenda going forward,” referring to both his league as well as all other conferences. With a new TV deal in the home stretch, you can bet getting a collective vote on membership one way or the other will be one of the next items on Bowlsby’s┬ádocket.

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37 Responses to “Report: Big 12 still split on expansion”
  1. secnewbie says: May 20, 2012 4:30 PM

    Perfect example why all the other schools left! You can see who controls the big 12!

  2. bertenheim says: May 20, 2012 4:41 PM

    I commend the Big 12 for their sched where everyone plays everyone. Problem is, five home conference games or only four. Expansion adds pieces to the $pie.

  3. bertenheim says: May 20, 2012 4:50 PM

    Hypothetically, if the Big 12 expands to 12 (think about that), and Texas and OU are split up in different divisions, will OU balk at continuing the Red River Shootout like they did the Nebraska rivalry?

  4. deadeye says: May 20, 2012 4:57 PM

    There’s only going to be room for four super conferences at the big-boy table. “Rhymes with Lexus” needs to start acting like a co-equal, or the BIG-12 will die.

  5. hornsforever says: May 20, 2012 5:15 PM

    I know Deloss has stated that he is content with just 10 teams, but he knows as well as everyone reading this article that expansion is coming., whether it is by 2 or 4 teams this year or next.

    Which teams is the question to ask. I personally would like to see either FSU, ND, BYU, and Louisville (admittedly for basketball purposes)…or all 4

    I know….it’s a dream…a far fetched dream at that, but one can still hope

  6. bradentonbuc says: May 20, 2012 5:24 PM

    Why would any top team want to join the Big 12 with Texas controlling everything the way they are?

  7. thefiesty1 says: May 20, 2012 5:40 PM

    The new commissioner should tell DeLoss to shut up and get with the program like most everyone else and get at least back to 12 and have a CG like the other major conferences. I guess DeLost thinks the new commissioner is just another lackey like Bebee was. Someone needs to tell DeLoss he’s NOT in charge anymore.

  8. Deb says: May 20, 2012 5:44 PM

    The college football landscape is changing–more rapidly than most of us expected. Texas may be able to hold off Big 12 expansion temporarily. But as playoff scenarios become more concrete, it’s likely the conference will have no choice if it wants to remain an FBS power. The most important thing is for the Big 12 to expand logically in a way that strengthens the conference. FSU still seems an odd choice to me geographically, but it’s a good school with a fine football history.

    Since playoff discussions began this offseason, has BYU made any comment about joining–or not joining–a conference?

  9. bertenheim says: May 20, 2012 5:47 PM

    Please try to keep up. Geography went out the window a long time ago.

  10. Deb says: May 20, 2012 6:12 PM

    Oh bertenheim, once again, you are so polite when someone makes a simple comment. Thank you for your unfailing courtesy. My comment was that it still seems an odd choice TO ME. And I am entitled to find it odd that geography has gone out the window in college football realignment. Please try to actually read the comment before posting your usual snotty reply.

  11. pastabelly says: May 20, 2012 6:37 PM

    NCAA championship will go to eight teams to avoid any more poaching.

  12. fatfreddystubbs says: May 20, 2012 6:49 PM

    Deb, I agree with you that geopgraphically, these conferences are really getting screwed up. But FSU currently plays in a conference that has a school in Boston, and just added one from upstate NY and one from Western PA.

    Tallahassee to Norman or Austin can’t be THAT much farther (i haven’t googled, i prefer to give opinions based on no research whatsoever).

    I don’t see it affecting football. Get on plane, fly for a few hours, stay at hotel, play game, go home. It will affect the non-revenue producing sports with way too much travel time, but the ADs, school presidents, and NCAA honchos made it clear a long time ago they couldn’t care less about them and their missed class time.

  13. kansasbig12pride says: May 20, 2012 7:07 PM

    Wait, one report?

    I’ve seen 10 reports that said they all agree as long as it is FSU, ND, or Clemson

  14. Deb says: May 20, 2012 7:20 PM

    @fatfreddystubbs …

    Yes, but those schools are still on the Atlantic Coast, for the most part, and that’s what I was thinking about.

    We’re all having to adjust to the changing football landscape. For me, the Pac-12 will always be the West Coast schools with Colorado and Utah as the odd ones out. The Big 10 will be that Midwestern cluster, and I’ll have to think twice to remember Nebraska and Iowa. I hated the idea of SEC expansion but at least Missouri and Texas have historic ties to the old South.

    But although much of my family is from Alabama and I’m a lifelong Tide fan, I’m a Florida native and a Mizzou grad. So for me the Big 12 is the Texas and Oklahoma schools, Mizzou, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. The middle of the country. I’m surrounded by Gators, Seminoles, and Hurricanes. FSU suddenly aligned with the middle of the country? That seems really weird to me.

  15. fatfreddystubbs says: May 20, 2012 7:45 PM

    FSU suddenly aligned with the middle of the country? That seems really weird to me.

    i agree. I just hope whatever happens, FSU/Miami play every year. I may be getting old and harkening back to the late 80’s and 90’s when that rivalry was at it’s peak but i just think it’s bad for the game for rivalries like that to fall by the wayside in the name of expansion. As i said on another post, i’m a Penn State fan from Philly, and games like that mean something to me, so they must mean a helluva lot more to fans of those teams.

  16. deucez2 says: May 20, 2012 8:06 PM

    There are conflicting reports everywhere. This one is no different. Its true Texas would prefer to stay at 10 teams but I have a level one source that admits if there is expansion, Texas would prefer ND and FSU first. The decision to expand depends on ND and their time table. They wont be independent forever, but the TV contract with NBC which ends in 2015 is the issue. Dodds has been courting Swarbrick (ND AD) for two years now. Expansion will happen. Some think Clemson will be the first to abandon the ACC. We’ll see. A lot will be addressed at the B12 meeting at the end of this month and look for things to accelerate once the new commish takes over on June 15th.

  17. Deb says: May 20, 2012 8:14 PM

    @fatfreddystubbs …

    Yes, and the Florida rivalry!! I have friends who live for that game the way we do Alabama/Auburn. It would be a shame to lose these great contests.

  18. dmcgrann says: May 20, 2012 10:10 PM

    Deb, well, at least Florida State and Clemson are further west than WVU.

  19. frug says: May 20, 2012 10:52 PM

    Let’s see if I can figure out who is which camp.

    I think it safe to say that UT is the most vehemently opposed to expansion and WVU is the biggest proponent.

    Oklahoma’s prez. has stated that he would be more comfortable if the conference returned to 12 members and the Oklahoma St. echoed his sentiment. TCU has spoken positively about expansion but stopped short of actually endorsing the idea. Still, I think it is safe to put them with in the pro-expansion camp with the Oklahoma schools.

    KU, KSU and ISU are almost certain to oppose any move that recreates the Big XII South which makes it even harder for them to recruit in Texas. Right now they get two games in Texas per year and splitting the conference into “Texlahoma” and “Other” would drop them down to one making it easier for Texas and Oklahoma to lock down the local talent. KU and (especially) KSU and ISU will always benefit from any move that strengthens the Big XII and the Cyclones in particular would benefit from the extra revenue but I think they will be hesitant to any expansion unless the South schools are willing to make some concessions or the money is really good. I’ll put them in the nay category.

    That leaves TTU and Baylor. While the assignment of media rights and equal revenue distribution means that Texas can’t bully the rest of the conference like they used to but my gut instinct (and that is all it is) tells me TTU is still going to defer to the Longhorns on this stuff while Baylor will do anything that strengthens the Big XII and gets them more cash.

  20. halbert53 says: May 20, 2012 11:10 PM

    The problem with Texas is they used to dominate the old SWC just like the Big 8 always came down to Oklahoma-Nebraska. Texas would rather be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond. Texas does not want to be in the same division as OU, and OU and OSU want to be in the same division because it’s a big rivalry. Trouble is Big 12 can’t really expand to the South or West and add high caliber schools. Baylor and TCU are good schools but haven’t demonstrated staying power. Essentially it will be difficult for the Big 12 to expand without Texas being in the same division as OU and OSU. If Texas tries to block expansion, OU and OSU conceivably could wind up in a reconfigured SEC West: OU, OSU, Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and Miss. State (Alabama and Auburn to SEC East). That is possible, not likely. SEC would prefer Duke and North Carolina for more Eastern time zones and to bolster basketball. Clemson, Georgia Tech, FSU, Miami, Louisville and either ND or VT would bolster Big 12 to 16 with viable East-West divisions. A lot hinges on three things: what conference ND ultimately joins; whether Texas drives other teams (OU and OSU) out of the Big 12 and what teams the PAC 12 wants to add. If the Big 12 raids the ACC , that opens door for Duke and NC to join SEC. If Texas bolts for PAC 12, Big 12 is in trouble; if OU and OSU leave Big 12, huge financial loss for Big 12.

  21. mogogo1 says: May 20, 2012 11:35 PM

    “Rhymes with Lexus” is carrying less clout than they were a couple years ago. They masterfully played the Pac 12 and Big 12 against each other, which was either deplorable or really smart (or both) depending on how you view things. But, now they’ve got far fewer options than back then: SEC, Big 10 and Pac 12 are all about as big as they’re probably going to get; and nobody is going to bend over backwards for them to the degree the Big 12 did last time. Unless they want to try it as an independent, they’re likely stuck with the Big 12.

    And with all the other big boys expanding, it’s really dangerous to stand pat. The Big 12 needs at least as many teams as the conference’s name implies.

  22. mogogo1 says: May 20, 2012 11:50 PM

    Just my $0.02 about some of the speculation regarding expansion… the crazy geographic moves we’ve been seeing the last couple years aren’t going to stick. Playoffs will start with the four teams, it’ll be an amazing success and soon there will be eight or more teams involved and money will come rolling in, meaning schools won’t need to be playing in conferences in different time zones to make huge bucks.

    TCU isn’t going to be playing East Coast teams for very long and FSU and Clemson won’t become lasting fixtures west of the Mississippi. Fans simply aren’t going to embrace those sorts of alignments and the second playoff bucks start going through the roof you’ll see traditional rivalries return to prominence. That means the conferences who hung their hats on big names from far, far away are going to be in a world of hurt.

  23. Deb says: May 21, 2012 1:15 AM

    dmcgrann says:

    Deb, well, at least Florida State and Clemson are further west than WVU.
    Omigosh … you’re right!

    @mogogo1 …

    Really like your thoughts on all this.

  24. txstatebobcats1868 says: May 21, 2012 2:43 AM

    Tcu will be in the big 12, they won’t be playing east coast teams…

  25. mungman69 says: May 21, 2012 7:32 AM

    I can’t keep up with which teams are in which leagues. Get eight leagues, freeze the leagues from adding or losing teams for five years, and have an eight team playoff.

  26. jonkybon says: May 21, 2012 8:12 AM

    fatfreddystubbs says:
    May 20, 2012 6:49 PM
    Deb, I agree with you that geopgraphically, these conferences are really getting screwed up. But FSU currently plays in a conference that has a school in Boston, and just added one from upstate NY and one from Western PA.

    ACC teams (fans) are known to travel well. When a team travels to Boston, very few fans travel, they send skeleton bands and don’t bring along many (if any) undressed (game uniform) players. Other than BC, when the rest of the conference plays each other they bring full bands, every player and large groups of fans. Many ACC fans didn’t want BC, let alone Syracuse and Pitt.

    I think it was foolish to add those three schools as I think it was foolish for the SEC to add Texas A&M and Mizzou. It increases viewing markets, but hurts the traveling fan base. Some people will travel regardless, but they are a very small minority.

    I believe FSU and Clemson are the two biggest targets for the Big 12. For selfish, if they must change conferences, I’d rather see both teams apply to the SEC then the Big 12 because I like to attend games.

  27. mountaineer50415 says: May 21, 2012 8:47 AM

    This Texas thing doesn’t make sense. There are now 10 teams in the Big 12. How can one team rule everyone else. All of the other nine need to get a back bone. Looks like 5 of them have. Why would 4 teams want to be known as puppits? No matter what you actually want, say so. Or maybe you like being led around by the nose.
    If an AD can not make a decision on his own the school should get someone else to lead them or just let the Texas AD run their school. Why pay someone to do nothing? I really find it hard to believe that any school is doing that.

  28. burttherese says: May 21, 2012 9:39 AM

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  29. quizguy66 says: May 21, 2012 2:15 PM

    Next Big 12 meeting:

    “The votes are in: 9 votes favor expansion, 1 burnt-orange vote against. Motion fails. League stays at 10 members”


  30. mountaineer50415 says: May 21, 2012 3:17 PM

    It is always good to have a comedian in the crowd, QG. You even put it in quotes!!!

  31. quizguy66 says: May 21, 2012 3:42 PM

    Just grateful my school is in the Big 10 – it really is ridiculous how much sway Texas has in that conference. I was excited about the prospect of them becoming team 12 (or team 14 with ND on a more fanciful note) but glad with how things turned out getting Nebraska. Texas seems like more trouble than it’d be worth.

    This is not to say that WVU didn’t make a good decision with their move – the Big East is flailing and makes what the Big XII has gone through over the last couple of years seem calm by comparison.


  32. fcmlefty1 says: May 21, 2012 6:44 PM

    It would be pretty easy to establish divisions that satisfy most everybody. All the old Big 8 schools in one divsion (ISU, KU, KSU, OU, OKST) + new comer WVU and the other division would be the old SWC schools (UT, TT, Bay, TCU) + the 2 yet to be identified additional schools. If OU and UT are still going to do the annual game, its a protected crossover, and everybody else will subsequently also get a protected crossover (of course, the downside for the other 10 schools is that it will be a non-traditional rival for the most part).

  33. mountaineer50415 says: May 21, 2012 7:02 PM

    I for one want to play Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. I am glad we joined the Big 12. I never wanted to go elsewhere. I love the tradition that those schools have and am looking forward to bringing our traditions into this conference. It seems real easy for other conferences to tell the Big 12 what to do. However, I think those decisions should be the Big 12es.
    Although I do not like Michigan, I will not tell them how to run their conference. Also I root for Alabama, but I will not tell them how to run theres. Texas is in the Big 12, and as far as I am concerned they have a tenth of the say over what happens. People outside the conference have no say.
    Note: I said: I NEVER WANTED TO JOIN OTHER CONFERENCES. I did not say: WV never wanted to. Just glad we are where we are.

  34. TxGrown says: May 21, 2012 8:30 PM

    Iowa St.
    Division whatever II
    Tx Tech

    With later additions of;

    Just a thought.

  35. fcmlefty1 says: May 22, 2012 8:23 AM

    Texas and OU wield too much power in this conference. If it goes back to divisions, those two will not be in the same one. It doesn’t make sense competitively (and yes, I understand the “competitively” part runs in cycles) or financially to put them both together.

    It will have to be set up where every team in the other division plays a road game against at least one of the Texas schools each year to keep them all happy recruiting wise.

  36. ncaainsider says: Jun 6, 2012 11:27 AM

    I have resources close to the Big 12 that indicate, geographically, they are targeting the Chicago market. It is close and, by far, the largest sports market.

    Chicago represents 7+ million viewers and can be a huge revenue driver for the conference. The Chicagoland area also supplies a large amount of students to Big 12 universities and has over 100,000 Big 12 alumni in its media reach.

    Chicago also has a number of 50,000 watt radio stations broadcasting college football to all of the midwest and much of the big 12 broadcast area.

    Discussions have already begun to tap Northern Illinois University (NIU) as a possible next invitee to the Big 12 Conference. NIU represents 25,000 undergraduate students and thousands of graduate students as well.

    They have the academic standards to not only match, but exceed many of the current Big 12 schools.

    The Huskie football program has been a thorn in the side to a few Big 12 schools over the years (Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State) and claimed victories over many BCS Schools (Alabama, Maryland, Wisconsin, Purdue, etc)

    NIU has won 11 games in each of the last two years making it one of the best programs in FBS football and currently holds the nations longest home winning streak.

    Because of the quality of both the football program and the institution itself, Northern Illinois University has been under close investigation for admittance into the Big 12 Conference.

    No word yet from Jeff Compher, NIU AD. All official responses will most likely come from Donna Turner, associate AD, who normally responds to these types of media requests.

  37. petphotog says: Oct 30, 2012 4:14 PM

    A lot of talk about the weather but nobody is doing anything about it. So I might as well talk too!

    The deal with the conferences is looking to the future not the past.

    There are some really good up and coming programs worth considering which can actually make a difference in the way college football is played if they get with a good set of teams.

    This is just a little outside the box thinking for those of us that like the idea of geographically connected conferences.

    Teams for consideration:

    University of Indiana
    Louisville University
    University of Illinois
    University of Memphis
    University of Maryland
    Virgina Tech
    Auburn University
    Tulsa University
    Air Force Academy
    University of New Mexico
    Missouri State University

    For me I would like to see Louisville and Missouri State move in and as far as divisions

    Division “A”
    Texas Tech
    West Virgina

    Division “B”
    University of Texas
    University of Oklahoma
    Kansas University
    Baylor University
    Missouri State University

    The way I divided them, as if anything makes sense, is by being “north” or “south” inside their state.

    Hey, it’s better than leaders and legends.

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