The Big 12 looks ready to leave this week no closer to expansion than it arrived. Such is life in the Big 12, where the conference reportedly did discuss expansion during regularly scheduled meetings but did so without mentioning specific candidates or moving anywhere closer to holding any formal vote on whether or not to expand. No conference deliberates quite like the Big 12, and it appears there will be even more discussions on expansion in the months to come.
“I think this is a dialogue that could continue several years,” Texas Athletics Director Mike Perrin said. “The prudent thing is to stay where we are.”
Where the Big 12 is now is a 10-member league that struggles to get everyone on the same page on almost any topic of discussion while continuing to lag behind power conference peers like the Big Ten and SEC without a conference-branded network and plenty of wishful candidates lining up just waiting for any reason to believe an invitation may be coming their way. Schools like BYU, Cincinnati, Memphis, Houston, UCF and UConn are Charlie Brown and the Big 12 is the Little Red-Haired Girl that will never send a valentine.
Commish Bob Bowlsby says Big 12 said expansion/championship game was talked about for about hour and half Wednesday
— Joseph Duarte (@Joseph_Duarte) June 1, 2016
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is getting e though. With no visible progress made this week, Bowlsby is hoping to have some sort of vote held on expansion by the end of the summer.
“I’m going to push for decisions to be made one way or another by the end of the summer,” Bowlsby said. If that is true, fans of those programs listed above will be watching closely as the media days play out, although expansion decisions could be more likely to come after the media day circuit is wrapped up.
The topic of Big 12 expansion has been floating around for years now, since the league dropped in membership following the departures of Colorado (Pac-12), Nebraska (Big Ten, Texas A&M and Missouri (SEC). The Big 12 has added West Virginia and TCU to maintain a 10-member conference lineup, but the discussions about returning to a 12-member conference have never dissipated. Keeping the Big 12 name is its brand has helped fuel the talk about getting back to 12. So has missing out on the College Football Playoff one year and the lack of a conference championship game.
The Big 12 might expand, or it might not. One thing we know for sure is they will discuss it at length time and time again.