Report: No school has votes necessary for Big 12 expansion yet

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Remember, folks, just because they’ve agreed to expand doesn’t mean they’ve agreed to expand. Allow me to explain.

The Big 12 announced last month plans to pursue expansion, all that really means is that league presidents have authorized commissioner Bob Bowlsby to speak with prospective candidates about joining the conference. However, any new member still has to receive eight votes to join the conference, and a report Wednesday night from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News says no one is at that point yet.

However, Carlton adds, “In-depth discussions and inevitable horse trading haven’t really begun yet.”

Texas has publicly backed Houston, with Texas Tech and leadership at the Capitol in Austin following suit, which leads one to believe the Coogs have an early lead for one spot. (Unless, that is, Texas is just putting up a front because it knows Houston has no shot at eight votes.) Assuming that’s real, and Carlton’s sources say it is, he writes Oklahoma, whose president David Boren has been the bus driver of this entire process, may get to push for a school. The lead candidates appear to be Cincinnati and BYU but, as Carlton writes, “recent reports about BYU’s honor code in regard to sexual assault victims and its stance on LGBT issues may raise questions with Big 12 presidents, two sources said.”

After that’s, it’s an evolving list with “Who Knows” and “Anybody’s Guess” alternating top positions.

Additionally, Carlton writes that football-only membership doesn’t seem to be on the table — “Nobody wants it,” a source said — and the feeling in the board room is that Texas and Oklahoma are very much biding their time until the Big 12’s Grant of Rights expires in the middle of the next decade and the Red River rivals will be free to evaluate their options.