Today’s round-up features Dennis Dodd getting on his high horse, ECU basically doing everything they can to let the Big 12 know they’re available, Memphis folks coming to the realization that academics may be holding them back, and a rundown of CUSA schools that the American may consider and those that probably won’t.
Trotter: That theory has been floated, and though it makes sense, I really don’t believe that’s what’s happening. As of at least last week, I know for a fact Oklahoma and Texas were operating in good faith behind closed doors in order to keep the Big 12 together. The pro-rata money certainly is a massive benefit of expansion. But I’m skeptical that the Red River schools are simply out to make a short-term money grab with current plans of bailing at the end of the grant of rights.
Big 12 expansion: Public pandering by AAC schools is borderline embarrassing
Screw what the AAC – created to save some of these schools – thinks: It’s Big 12 or bust for some programs looking for greener pastures
SMU has the academics. Houston has the market. UCF has the upside. Memphis has FedEx CEO Fred Smith’s riches. (Timberlake’s cache is being a native of both Memphis and the boy-band movement.) BYU has something largely lacking in this discussion – a tradition of big-time football.
Local Big 12 Writers:
East Carolina wants everyone to know it hopes to join Big 12
“It doesn’t mean ‘I don’t like you guys,’ ” she said. “You have to look out for what’s best for your program, university, city, state. What would be best would be going to the Big 12, for us. If we don’t get the offer, we’re very happy where we are. We don’t want to say we don’t want the offer. We want them to know we would be interested and that we would really want that.
Politics and Football, Cougars Get Support From Governor
While everything Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick expressed is purely a matter of opinion, it sure makes it an interesting time for the Big 12 as expansion looms over the conference’s future plans.
American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco Admits “Some” Teams Might Leave For Big 12
The AAC knows expansion’s coming for them and now the league is bracing for impact.
The question becomes will the American Athletic lose two, three or four teams? Two might be okay as it leaves the league at 10, a point Aresco brings up, but three or four could mean the dominoes begin tumbling and the AAC needs to shore up their membership.
Local Expansion Candidate Articles
Three sources told the website that Big 12 does not want the expansion talk to overshadow what appears to be an interesting upcoming football season.
Report: Expansion decision may come before season
A prevailing theory is, a delay in the decision gives USF – a trendy pick to win the American Athletic Conference’s East Division – more time to fortify its football brand and improve home attendance. Consider how appealing a Bulls upset of FSU – before a likely sellout crowd on Sept. 24 – would be to Big 12 honchos watching.
Dueling Columns: East Carolina athletics absolutely deserves a seat at the Big 12 table
ECU is, to be fair, on par or in better shape than all remaining non-power-five bidders. Yes, including Houston, who themselves are not full go on the idea of joining the conference just yet. Due to overkill on the many teams in the state of Texas already. And the fact that it could be limiting when talking recruiting and postseason play, even after their recent years of dominance in the American Athletic Conference.
Big 12 Expansion Watch: A decision coming soon?
Both talked up BYU as a potential football-only member. Beyond that, Staples said UConn is “intriguing,” Cincinnati has a “strong case,” and he also mentioned Central Florida.
Dodd mentioned several schools — from Boise State and Colorado State as potential football-only mates to BYU, to Cincinnati and Houston as all-sports members — but not Memphis.
Big 12 expansion, examined: Focus on academic standing, reputation
Many have defaulted to the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best College Rankings” of 2016, the list that ranks U.S. colleges 1 to 199. Of all the criteria Oklahoma president David Boren, the Big 12’s board of directors chairman, spoke of last week in Dallas regarding the assessment of prospective expansion members, this one favors the U of M’s competition. UConn leads the pack of hopefuls with a No. 57 ranking. BYU is No. 66. Cincinnati is 140. South Florida is 156 and Central Florida is 168. Houston is 187. Memphis is in the bottom 25 percent, or a group of colleges not ranked.
Heads up, Tulane; Big 12 reportedly wants to fast track conference expansion
Tulane’s sterling academic reputation could intrigue Big 12 member school presidents and chancellors – the conference expansion decision-makers. As a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), Tulane is considered one of the top 62 research universities in North America. It’s a distinction many sources at Tulane believe is a critical factor in their pitch to those Big 12 presidents, who have seen the league lose three AAU members (Colorado, Missouri, Texas A&M) and not gain any in the past five years.
Big 12 watch: BYU’s success in football and basketball tough to beat
“If you’re putting the most weight on football/men’s basketball success, it’s difficult for the hopefuls to beat BYU in this category,” Stukenborg writes. “Still, Cincinnati runs a respectable second.”
Looking at C-USA contenders for possible realignment
Rundown of all CUSA teams and the likelihood of the American considering them. Contenders are listed as Marshall, Rice, MTSU, Southern Miss, Old Dominion and Western Kentucky with Louisiana Tech, UTSA, and FAU on the Cusp.