While no announcement is imminent, it appears there’s some additional clarity on the Big 12 expansion front.
First and foremost, ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy is reporting, it’s becoming what sources described as “less and less likely” that the Big 12 will expand to 14 from its current 10-school membership. Instead, the conference likely either stand pat or add just two teams. The latter move would allow the conference to split into two six-team divisions.
As for potential expansion candidates, McMurphy reports that commissioner Bob Bowlsby will conduct videoconferences with the 17 schools that have contacted the conference expressing interest in becoming a member of the league. Those 17 schools include oft-mentioned suspects such as Boise State, Cincinnati, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Houston, Memphis, Tulane, UCF, UConn and USF. Additionally, East Carolina, New Mexico, SMU and Temple are part of the large group looking for inclusion.
Only 14 of the 17 schools that will be a part of the videoconferences were listed by McMurphy. It’s believed San Diego State is another of the 17. Air Force, Fresno State and Hawaii have also been previously mentioned as possibilities.
It’s believed that some combination of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, UCF and UConn will ultimately be part of any expansion. The first one mentioned when it comes to presumptive front-runners will, however, have to overcome some negative attention some of its policies have received as of late.
It has previously been reported that the Big 12 would like to settle the expansion issue before the start of the upcoming season, although that appears, like adding four schools, less and less likely. Instead, a decision might not be made until a board of directors meeting scheduled for October.