With the meeting right around the corner, news outlets started writing expansion articles again.
The speculation of late, especially as it pertains to the reported waning of Oklahoma’s support for expanding, is that the Big 12 could indeed be leaning toward staying at 10 teams, or at the very least tabling the expansion discussion for now. While “pretty much all the options are on the table,” Carlton writes, the likelihood of standing pat has grown of late.
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But there will be more rumors and next one might be about teams, such as Oklahoma, leaving for what they perceive to be greener pastures. There’s no question there’s a lot of dysfunction in the Big 12 and calling off expansion after so vehemently and publicly pursuing it would be a major gaffe in the eyes of the college football world.
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This, from the WSJ: “The league also rates as the worst in the college rankings among the power five conferences, with just Texas (51st) cracking the top 100.”
Oklahoma president David Boren has flip-flopped on expansion in recent weeks. He has responded to UT’s support of the University of Houston with outright disdain. This man once said the conference was “psychologically disadvantaged” because of only having 10 schools. Now he believes there’s no need for expansion.
If David Boren keeps flip-flopping, this thing isn’t going to happen. I wish Bob Bowlsby had more power in this thing. He’s having to just wait on the presidents. Now T. Boone Pickens is calling out Boren for being old and confused. UT came out so strong for UH that it seemed a bit forced.
So the only reason to expand would be to grab up the best candidates before the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Pacific-12 or Southeastern conferences decide to add schools in a realignment that some believe will lead to five power conferences of 16 teams apiece.
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Bottom line: No fewer than five current AAC residents will be deemed prime commodities when the next wave of expansion occurs. And occur it will.
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“I would say that their best hope would be to pursue something along those lines and somehow try to re-affiliate with the Big East,” Riske said. "I don’t know what that would mean for their football program. But if you look at the revenues, men’s basketball generates more than the football program, which is a rarity among Division IA programs.
“I don’t think we need to get into a vindictive, behind-the-back sort of thing because it’s not healthy for anyone. All we ask that when schools are in Conference USA, they support Conference USA. Because no one knows what the future is.”