Blog Entry

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Posted on: January 25, 2012 11:27 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maybe you thought conferences were done expanding after all the movement we saw before the 2011 season started. After all, nobody was shuffling the deck during the season. Then on Tuesday it was announced that Navy would be joining the Big East for the 2015 season, and it looks like the dominoes have started falling again.

According to The Chronicle (subscription), the Big 12 is once again considering expanding the conference. While nothing is imminent, two sources told the paper that the Big 12 adding at least one new member is "very possible."

That new member would likely be Louisville, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Before it was announced that West Virginia would be joining the conference, there were reports that half the schools were split on which school they wanted to extend an invitation to. Half wanted West Virginia, half wanted Louisville.

An expansion committee plans to put together a report for the Big 12's Board of Directors next week. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz make up the committee. 

“I don’t want to send the message, ‘Oh, they’re getting ready to expand,’” Castiglione told The Chronicle. “But you’d be naïve to think there’s not instability still in our business.

“From a transition standpoint, we’re in position now to deal with the reality of our world. We’re going to make some evaluations and reach the best conclusion that helps us stabilize our long-term future.”

The conference seems willing to stay at 11 teams, much like the Big Ten did for years, if it adds Louisville, but if the return of a Big 12 championship game is the ultimate goal, it will have to add a twelfth school. As for which school that would be, BYU is being mentioned as a possibility again. Cincinnati has also been mentioned as an option in the past as well.

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Since: Oct 12, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2012 2:00 pm

Roadtrips to WVU

Smorgie, there is also an airport in Clarksburg which is closer than Pitsburgh.  It's my understanding that Clarksburg's runway is long enough to handle the type of aircraft needed for football roadtrips.  Also, there is a push underway to expand the runway at Morgantown so teams could fly directly with no additional bus trip necessary.

Since: Aug 13, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 2:00 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

As a resident of Kentucky (across the crick from Cincinnati) I would love for either the Bearcats or the Cardinals to join the BIG XII. I would love to see my Sooners play in LIVE ACTION! ! ! ! ! !!

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:56 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

And if they fly out of and back into Clarksburg, it is only a 30 to 45 min bus ride.  Plans are also in the the works to lengthen the runway in Morgantown in order to accomodate larger aircraft capable of carrying teams in and out of MorgantownCool  Things are looking brighter everyday in Morgantown and for WVU.

A Mountaineer in NW Arkansas

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:48 am

West Virginia is like 3 light years from Texas!

That is a very long slog (almost 1,300 miles!) The distance also necessitates missing classes for more days on a trip.


A jet travels about 500+ miles per hour.  So going to West Virginia will take another hour in the air and the 90 minute bus ride from Pittsburgh. How is that going to necessitate missing class for more days? 

Since: Jul 29, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:24 am

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Some conference should try to pick up the troy trojans, although the had a rough year they generally do extremely well against top notch programs.

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 10:52 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Hey ex fide fortes,  can you give me the link to where you are getting your facts from about the SEC stealing two teams from the BIG 9-10 or 11 from,  and how a 14 team conference is causing the SEC all kinds of problems,  or is this just your opinion that you are trying to make the rest of us believe are facts.  The way I see it,  is that if you can't keep your partner happy,  then they will find some one that is willing to go the extra mile to make them feel important,  kinda like when Texas A&M,  and Missouri left the BIG 1? to join the SEC,  and the biggest problem the SEC has faced so far with a 14 team conference was which division they were going to put the two new teams in.  That issue was solved well over a month ago.  Why don't you focus more on trying to help save the BIG 1?,  and let the SEC and the ACC worry about how to expand and become an even more sucssesful conference.  Better yet why don't you follow their leads,  cause the Big 1?'s didn't work out to well did it.  Oh,  the part about the keeping your partner happy if you want them to stay at home, is just my opinion,  and the part about the problem that the SEC is having with a 14 team conference and fixing it over a month ago,  well thats facts. 

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:54 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

The BigXII will be VERY picky about #12.  I seriously doubt the BigXII will entertain the idea of more than 12 teams.  16 team conferences have not worked, and the SEC is proving 14 is worse in some ways.  A BigXII title game would likely have put OSU in the MNC game (had they won) thus the news of expansion.  Money will decide the 12th team as TV contracts will be renegotiated in 2014 (I think I recall).  I look to see the BigXII to negotiate packages with several scenarios and try to make "deals that can't be refused" to some BIG names.  They may have to settle for a "project" team to get to 12, but they'll try for quality first. 

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: January 26, 2012 6:02 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

Expansion is a two-edged sword. On the one hand a conference adds market penetration. On the other hand the conference shares all revenues. Does the added school add sufficient income to keep current schools from losing part of their share? That is on the monetary side. On the human side most non-revenue sports teams must travel commercial or by bus because of budgetary restraints. Already the Texas schools must travel to West Virginia. That is a very long slog (almost 1,300 miles!) The distance also necessitates missing classes for more days on a trip. To counter similar distance challenges in the PAC-12 the league pairs teams and has them travel together with Thursday/Saturday games at alternate paired schools. Still, the lost class time is significant and impacts a student's educational experience.

What the Big XII is likely doing is setting itself to move when/if the super conference model becomes the norm. No BCS conference wants to be left behind. The Big East has now become a monster which likely cannot stand cohesively so the question becomes where do these schools go and when. The Big XII coaches really sound like they like and want to maintain the full schedule that 10 teams provide - 9 football games and 18 basketball games.  Also the conference championship game in football has cost the Big XII in BCS births in the past. It will likely take additional external stimulus to go away from this once again.

Since: Jan 26, 2012
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:54 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

The 27 month notification period was made for the discretion and benefit of the Big East and West Virginia agreed to it.

Since: May 20, 2008
Posted on: January 26, 2012 5:30 pm

The Big 12 still looking to expand

I think Cincy is in the same boat that you see Houston, SMU, UCF and USF. You have crowds in excess of 85,000 for Texas, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, and in your case Ohio State.  As a result all of these programs struggle to get 35,000 to its games. SMU doesnt get 22,000.
We had trouble this year getting 35,000 fans to come to games against Austin Pey, Akron (during Octoberfest), and UConn only because those teams are terrible and no one cared to see those teams try and play football. WVU was sold out and Louisville was 50,000+ down at PBS only because the competition was better. Take all that and add in the fact that we were 4-8 last year and that is why our numbers were down. If you want to see the potential numbers we can generate just look at the 2009 season alone where we sold out all of our games with even more people trying to get in and then the amount of fans that went to the Sugar Bowl. I'm not sure SMU, UCF, Houston, or USF could do that.

A school like BYU draws over 60,000 without any trouble plus it has the backing of Moormans across the nation. Since the Big 12 will be established in Kentucky and West Virginia would it be better off to establish itself in a new market?
Of course they would, what else can they do. They can't drink (alcohol or coffee) and they have no pro team outside of basketball. Our market should look better to the Big 12 than Salt Lake City only because we have the Cincy metro area, Northern Kentucky, and Dayton. A TV market ranked number 34 in the nation, I'm not sure where SLC is.

Since the SEC stole 2 of its members would the Big 12 be better off trying to compete within that market by adding a team like USF. It opens Florida which is rich recruiting ground and allows the Big 12 to extend its footprint in a atate with a growing population. Considering USF plays its games where the Bucs do you dont have issues securing a lease either
USF is on an island all its own right now and its hard on their athletes as is. Don't you or the Big12 think that having players or athletes from Iowa St. traveling to and from Florida might be difficult? I'll admit USF would be a great school but just not in the Big12.

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