PRESTIGE & INFLUENCE
Reading a recent article, apparently the Big 12 is incentivized to expand by 2 teams ($40 million) or 4 teams ($80 million).
While I tend to agree with UHFan79’s sentiments, if the move looks like a cash grab then it’s likely to lose in court.
Therefore, what schools meet the standard of prestige & influence.
UCONN - Strong academics, blue blood basketball, dense population, and a national brand - Everyone likes Huskies except cat people. # 57 on USNEWS Best National Universities. Put them in a good conference with a good coach and they will take off.
BYU - Strong academics, loyal following, proven program. Almost a household name. Unlike the other Cougars, this team actually sells out their stadium and bowl games.
I think Houston is close but for different reasons. The fact that we didn’t sell out the championship game is a disgrace and the “whoose house” cheer should die with Cougar High. We can compete because we’re in a football rich talent pool, and there will always be a certain number of kids that want to live close. If the Coogs get in, it will be because the Big 12 actually believes that they need to take back this territory from A&M/SEC and the Coogs and or the City of Houston can help on the INFLUENCE part, and Fertietta is 100% helping. He’s right that even casual fans will join in, but not unless we’re winning and definitely not against the likes of Tulane, Lamar, etc. Who wants to waste their time in traffic for that? I might be wrong, but UH will always be significantly commuter which I know is something of a downer, because if drives down enthusiasm, but we can make it up on volume. I don’t see UH measuring high on the prestige-o-meter, so I think importance of our market, followed by historical athletic performance are our strongest plays.
Cincy’s value is similar but with less efficacy. Influence of Ohio market is strongest play. Buddy to West Virginia is relevant to Big 12, but I don’t see INFLUENCE or PRESTIGE here, do you? What I see is needing a pin on a certain point on a map or a fourth team.
Why not add two of the armed service teams: Navy and Air Force for Prestige. Hard to go to court against heros, then add BYU and Houston, and call it good.
With that, the Big 12 becomes the most patriotic conference in the nation, and has added prestige and influence. It’s almost as hard to get into the academies as it is Harvard.
Whoose House? No way. C-O-U-G-A-R-S. Talking bout them Cougars.