Big 12 expansion: League wants four teams with focus on BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF, per report

Sports

CBS Sports 02 September, 2021 - 01:44pm 33 views

UCF one of four ‘leading contenders’ in Big 12 expansion: report

Orlando Sentinel 02 September, 2021 - 01:18pm

Although there is still “a lot of work to be done,” it’s possible that the process could “move faster than initially anticipated” if the athletic directors and presidents of the league’s eight remaining members can reach a consensus on which members to invite, Max Olson of The Athletic first reported.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby met with the conference’s ADs and presidents in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday to begin planning the future of the conference and released a statement afterwards.

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league,” Bowlsby said in the statement on Wednesday. “Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.”

One factor favoring UCF, Cincinnati, BYU and Houston in Big 12 expansion is “they all have large, passionate alumni bases that could be attractive to media partners,” Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reported while confirming The Athletic’s report.

With almost 72,000 students, UCF is the largest university by enrollment in Florida and one of the largest universities in the nation. Orlando is also home to the largest TV market in the country that does not contain NFL team in its area, according to the latest Nielsen TV market rankings.

Recently, UCF AD Terry Mohajir was asked about possible conference realignment and what it could possibly means for the Knights in the future.

“We are now in position, based on what we’re doing with our staff, the capacity of our stadium, the vision of our program, like Coach [Gus Malzahn] says, it’s not a marketing campaign,” Mohajir said in late August. “It’s what we believe. We feel it. It’s authentic. We are the future of college athletics, especially college football. The eyeballs that we have. We’re excited.”

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Report: Big 12 has 4 schools tabbed as ‘leading contenders’ to join conference

Saturday Down South 02 September, 2021 - 12:34pm

After losing Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC and being left out of “The Alliance,” the Big 12 has been scrambling to maintain Power 5 status.

According to The Athletic, the Big 12 is looking to expand. The schools reportedly being looked at as possible additions are BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston.

If the presidents and athletic directors of the other eight Big 12 schools can come to an agreement, this process can move quickly but it will also depend on if these four schools will agree to join the conference, which more than likely, they will.

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league,”  said Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in a statement on Wednesday. “Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.”

Oklahoma and Texas will officially leave the Big 12 by 2025.

The Big 12's current preference in expansion discussions is adding four members, sources tell @TheAthletic.

BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are considered the leading contenders. Still a lot of work to be done.

More info: https://t.co/5V7wCpi0DH

— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 2, 2021

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I’m no math magician but wouldn’t this be the biggest conference in terms of geography? Byu softball gonna travel to central Florida to play games… is that a good idea?

No doubt the biggest P5 conference. But go look up the pioneer football league. It’s all of the FCS schools that have non scholarship football teams. They play in other leagues in all their sports but football. You have teams in Florida, New York, Iowa, California etc. They spend massive amounts of money on travel.

BYU will likely be football only

Pretty sure BYU would be football-only. Being a western outlier and not playing on Sundays would complicate the other sports schedules, to say the least.

That will make them the best group of 5 conference. Way to go Little12.

College Sports World Reacts To The Latest Big 12 News

The Spun 02 September, 2021 - 11:46am

What's trending in the sports world today.

The Big 12 has some major decisions to make as it looks to remain viable after the departures of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. Bob Bowlsby needs to try and keep his current group together, which may be tough if other Power Five leagues come calling for the likes of Oklahoma State, Kansas, West Virginia, and others, and could look at add other schools to bolster membership in time to negotiate a new media rights deal.

A few years ago, the Big 12 flirted with expansion. A number of major Group of Five programs, including UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, and even Boise State and BYU were floated as potential candidates to jump up a level. The move is less clear, as the AAC intends to be aggressive and could even look to vulture current Big 12 teams if more poaching occurs, but it makes plenty of sense at the Bowlsby and company are reexamining this situation.

According to Max Olson on The Athletic, the Big 12 has zeroed in on four schools as potential options. AAC powers UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston, and independent program BYU are on the short list.

“If the athletic directors and presidents of the league’s eight remaining members can reach a consensus on which members to invite, sources believe it’s possible that the process could move faster than initially anticipated,” Olsen reports. “The ADs of the Big 12’s remaining schools met with commissioner Bob Bowlsby in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday to begin planning the future of the conference.”

The Big 12's current preference in expansion discussions is adding four members, sources tell @TheAthletic.

BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are considered the leading contenders. Still a lot of work to be done.

More info: https://t.co/5V7wCpi0DH

— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 2, 2021

Even adding one or more of those schools won’t reverse the idea that the Big 12 has fallen off of the top tier of college football conferences. The reactions to today’s news reveal just how fascinating this whole situation is.

It’s go time. See you soon, @Big12Conference https://t.co/3oA54up4Xn

— Ryan Bass (@Ry_Bass) September 2, 2021

Cincy to the Big 12 🤔 https://t.co/7KcwZkxFPF

— H. Tyler Seggerman (@TylerSeggerman) September 2, 2021

This would be a very good football conference. Incredible hoops league. https://t.co/zP0Wy7awGd

— Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) September 2, 2021

This would be a huge blow to the AAC as well. The American has felt like a hodgepodge of teams, but it has undeniably produced some very fun, competitive football. Losing a few of these top teams would push them far closer to the Mountain West and Sun Belt than the bottom of the Power Five.

This would be quite the blow to USF since the Knights and Bulls have been in an expansion race for years https://t.co/zrsJa20cu2

— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) September 2, 2021

Well, this would be a total disaster for the AAC and the Shockers. https://t.co/4w8vUSduoM

— Wichita State to the BIG EAST (@Shockerland) September 2, 2021

It’ll be hard to get much agreement on the landscape here. There are plenty of fans of programs like Oklahoma State that feel above this new-look Big 12, while others say the Mountain West could be the big winners here, and speculate them poaching some of the Western AAC schools like SMU in reaction.

We’re in very fascinating times for the college football world, and it’s anyone’s guess how things will look just a few years down the road.

[The Athletic]

Dan is an Editor at The Spun.

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Big 12 expansion talks focused on BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston: Sources

The Athletic 02 September, 2021 - 11:31am

The Big 12 continues to engage in serious discussions about future expansion, with a current preference of adding four new members, sources tell The Athletic.

BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are the four schools that have been most seriously discussed and are considered the leading contenders, sources said. The Athletic previously reported the Big 12 was seriously considering BYU as a potential addition early on in this process.

If the athletic directors and presidents of the league’s eight remaining members can reach a consensus on which members to invite, sources believe it’s possible that the process could move faster than initially anticipated. The ADs of the Big 12’s remaining schools met with commissioner Bob Bowlsby in Dallas on Tuesday and Wednesday to begin planning the future of the conference.

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league,” Bowlsby said in a statement on Wednesday. “Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.”

The Pac-12’s announcement last Thursday that it will not expand at this time meant the leaders of the eight schools have few options beyond staying and working together to build up the conference in preparation for its next phase, when Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC and its grant of rights and television deal expire in 2025.

Max Olson and Sam Khan Jr. discuss the Big 12's desire to expand, focused on BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and...

The television numbers suggest that the Big 12 should look west in the search for new members who can add value to the league.

Now that the ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance is official, the Big 12 appears to be stuck together for now. What's the conference's next move?

The television numbers suggest that the Big 12 should look west in the search for new members who can add value to the league.

Now that the ACC/Big Ten/Pac-12 alliance is official, the Big 12 appears to be stuck together for now. What's the conference's next move?

Big 12 reportedly ‘focused’ on potentially adding BYU, 3 other schools

Deseret News 02 September, 2021 - 11:29am

On Thursday morning, The Athletic’s Max Olson reported that the Big 12 Conference has “a current preference” of adding four schools as it eyes its future without Texas and Oklahoma.

Olson reported that the four schools the conference has “most seriously discussed and are considered the leading contenders” are BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston.

Olson reported that the Big 12 “continues to engage in serious discussions about future expansion.” Olson had reported last week that BYU was one school that the conference was seriously discussing.

According to Olson, an exact timeline for invitations to the conference is unknown, although he wrote that “If the athletic directors and presidents of the league’s eight remaining members can reach a consensus on which members to invite, sources believe it’s possible that the process could move faster than initially anticipated.”

Olson reported that BYU, an independent in football, could join the Big 12 as a football-only member. As members of the American Athletic Conference, Olson reported that Cincinnati, UCF and Houston would need to give 27 months’ notice before departing to the Big 12, and there would be a $10 million penalty.

According to Olson, one athletic director said the conference is not trying to rush a decision and more “homework” is still needed on candidates and which additions bring the most value.

Eighty percent of the Big 12’s schools would need to approve additions of new members, Olson reported, and that could be achieved if there’s a consensus without Texas and Oklahoma.

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Check your inbox for a welcome email.

Report: Big 12 Expansion Could 'Move Faster Than Initially Anticipated'

CalBearsMaven 02 September, 2021 - 11:03am

"BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston are the four schools that have been most seriously discussed and are considered the leading contenders, sources said." Max Olson of The Athletic

On Wednesday, the Big 12 released a statement regarding the future of the Big 12 and their plans to "strengthen the league" in the future:

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league. Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.” - Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby

So when would expansion happen? It's still unclear. According to The Athletic, "Few details are known at this time about the Big 12’s intended long-term timeline for bringing in new members."

Chuck Carlton of the Dallas News believes it could be "completed sometime during the academic year."

There are still details that would need to be worked out, according to Olson.

The Chosen Four: Big 12 conference is considering adding these programs

Longhorns Wire 02 September, 2021 - 08:28am

The Big 12 conference will be fighting for its life in a matter of years (months?) when the two blueblood programs of the conference, Texas and Oklahoma, depart for the SEC.

It has left many speculating whether the conference will search for new members or just disband all together. The decision is one that is very heavily influenced by money, television deals, and overall value that a school can bring to the conference.

It may sound like a simple process, but in fact it is the opposite. The Big 12 realistically can only choose from Group of Five schools. No one will leave the SEC and the endless supply of cash. On top of that, the alliance of the Pac-12 (who said they are not adding anyone), ACC, and Big Ten have ruled out any other Power Five team.

However, that does not mean there are not quality universities out there to chose from. It’s just a matter of selling the sinking conference. I compiled a list of six schools the Big 12 should consider pursing, and of those six, it was reported by The Athletic that three of them are among the four leading contenders.

As of right now, the Big 12 is planning on attempting to preserve the conference after the departure of the Longhorns and Sooners. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby has been adamant that the conference can stay together. Here is what he said at a recent statement:

“The eight ADs remain committed to furthering the Big 12 as one of the nation’s premier athletic conferences, and look forward to working with our presidents and chancellors to strengthen the league. Future exploration by the group will continue to center on options that best position the long-term strength of the Conference.”

The Athletic mentioned the timeframe of when all this could happen, as due to the Big 12 bylaws, members need to give 18 months notice before leaving the conference and must pay a $80 million fee. In order to join the SEC by 2023, Texas and Oklahoma have until the end of December.

The schools that are being considered have some hoops to jump through as well, but let’s take a look at the Big 12’s top choices to join the conference.

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