Posted by Tom Fornelli
This will come as a shock to many of you, but it seems that there are still some things not every school in the Big 12 can agree on. While the Big 12's interim commissioner Chuck Neinas has said that the conference will remain at 10 schools after adding TCU and West Virginia to replace Texas A&M and Missouri, some members of the conference would still prefer expanding to 12, with Louisville being a top candidate.
The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel spoke with a source who was present when Neinas met with Oklahoma regents last weekend and the source said that Neinas is the driving force behind remaining at 10 schools. Neinas seems to believe the conference is better off without a championship game and playing a round-robin nine-game conference schedule.
Another source in Tramel's column is also very much in favor of the conference expanding and sees Louisville as a key addition.
“We have to explore what type of growth would have to be better for our conference,” the source told Tramel. “There’s no data that a conference of 16 is better than a conference of 12. In our case, the number is not the issue so much as the quality. But to make it better for West Virginia, we have to add Louisville. For our conference stability, adding Louisville is good for us because it would be good for West Virginia. The more we can get people to start talking about the greater good, the more stable this conference can become.”
Tramel also spoke to Oklahoma athletic direcotor Joe Castiglione who also believes that the Big 12 should look to add more schools.
“I think what Chuck might be doing is settling everything down, not letting speculation develop,” Castiglione said. “He may very well believe that staying at 10 is the best thing, and I respect that. But I don’t believe we should stay at 10, not with other moving parts.”
In other words, the more things change in the Big 12 -- new schools, new commissioner -- the more they stay the same.
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