That the Big 12 wants to expand may come as no surprise to some people, but to others, it’s shocking.
“A complete stunner to anyone who’d been doing any reporting with the Big 12 – and frankly, to most of the league’s athletic directors,” USA Today college football writer George Schroeder said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The presidents walked into that meeting yesterday, and the expectation around the league was they were going to announce after they came out of the meeting that they were tabling expansion talks for now, at least – meaning for several years. That was the expectation around the league, and instead they came out and they did exactly the opposite of what everybody thought. I do think they’re going to expand. I think it’s going to come in short order. We’ll know the schools fairly quickly. But I don’t think anybody has the first clue who the top of their list is – because I don’t think they have a top of their list yet. I think it’s the same eight or nine or 10 schools that we’ve all talked about, and it could be any kind of combination of them. I actually think it’s going to be four and not two – or at least it’s as likely to be four as it is to be two. Just mathematically, that increases the different combinations it could be. They’re going to do something and it could be four or it could be two.”
Houston, BYU, Cincinnati, Memphis, Colorado State, Central Florida, South Florida and Connecticut are among the schools being considered for Big 12 expansion.
“If Memphis gets picked, it isn’t going to be on the strength of the last couple years of football; it’s going to be a straight-up money grab as much as anything else,” Schroeder said. “I think Houston makes a ton of sense. They’re basically ready to go as a program that could (compete in football). All these programs with the exception of BYU are kind of going to have to be programs you sort of grow into being a Power 5 football program. Houston is the one that’s maybe most ready to grow and least likely to get selected because they’re in Houston. They don’t want to dilute the recruiting base by lifting a school into rival status. If you looked at Houston and said, ‘They’re basically Cincinnati,’ they may be more likely to take Cincinnati. I’m not making that case. I’m saying if somebody wanted to make that case, Houston’s got to overcome the fact that Texas and Texas Tech and Baylor and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and all these schools that recruit the state of Texas and recruit Houston don’t want to lift the University of Houston into a rival status in recruiting.”