East Carolina confirmed Wednesday that the Big 12 had informed the university that it was no longer a candidate for the latest round of expansion. A day later, a Mountain West school has done the same.
In a statement, Boise State president Bob Kustra confirmed that the school had expressed an interest in joining the Big 12. However, “the conversations didn’t get far enough to spark a deep analysis on what the partnership could have meant to either Boise State or the Big 12.”
Below is the entire text of Kustra’s statement:
We will always explore opportunities to put our university and our students in the best position for success. In this case, we believe we provided the necessary information for the beginning stages of the process, but the conversations didn’t get far enough to spark a deep analysis on what the partnership could have meant to either Boise State or the Big 12. We remain confident that our membership in the Mountain West Conference provides tremendous opportunities for our student-athletes in all sports. We wish the best to the Big 12 as they move forward.
Boise was one of 20 Group of Five programs who made initial presentations to the Big 12 stating their case for inclusion.
It’s believed that some combination of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, UCF and UConn will ultimately be part of any expansion. A report surfaced earlier this week that stated invitations have been sent to those six schools, as well as USF and two other unnamed AAC schools. ESPN reported that number of finalists to be more than a dozen: Air Force, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Houston, Memphis, Rice, SMU, Temple, Tulane, UCF, UConn and USF.
Those on the receiving end of the invitations are expected to take part in another round of presentations, after which the conference will settle on their new members. While the conference is looking at expanding by both two and four teams, it appears the former is the more likely number. A final decision on both the members and number of members is expected at some point in October.