Little Dozen to begin talking to expansion candidates

You pretty much knew this was coming, as much as they protested otherwise. LD feels like odd conference out with 10 teams, no divisions and no CG in football, although the CG is coming back. They could add two or four teams.

I have to think BYU will be at the top of the list, plus a team east of the Mississippi to sort of pair with West Virginia. If they add 4, who knows?

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://espn.go.com/college-football/sto … candidates”>http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/17108512/big-12-begin-exploring-expansion-candidates</LINK_TEXT>

You know if they did lose Oklahoma to the SEC or any other, they would not look like much at all in my opinion. I know they are few good strong teams there, but a lot of weak sisters too.

:slight_smile:

People who I know in Memphis that are very connected say that they have been at the top of the list for over a year. FedEx has offered a boatload of money to sponsor the Big XII Championship Game. It’s a top-50 TV market in the middle of SEC country. The $$ talks.

Assuming Memphis gets in and gets on a level playing field with their regional rivals…you wonder what the impact of that is going to be? Does it hurt Ole Miss and State, as they raid Memphis a lot for FB recruits? Arkansas just doesn’t come over to Memphis much for basketball or football recruits anymore, so I don’t think it impacts us much in Memphis. However, if there are kids in East Arkansas that we are after, they could be a legitimate competitor for us if they are P5.

Interesting times ahead for sure…

Memphis, Colorado State, BYU, and New Mexico State would be 4 good ones.

…of Big 12 teams before they get locked up in a loss of rights deal? For instance, the Big Ten might want Kansas in the future and might go after them now before they are locked up in an expanded B12. The Pac12 might go after Texas or the SEC after the two Oklahoma schools. Could this trigger more expansions of the other Power 5 conferences?

Colorado State? New Mexico State?? Seriously??? Big Whatever is such a joke. I can see Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC West and the Alabama schools moving to the east. At that point, we can stop trying to do the math.

The Big 12 wants TV MARKETS!!! Teams are a thought but TV markets are much more important!!!

Memphis, USF or UCF are probable in this scenario…not teams but markets. Birmingham is a top 30 TV market (probably 30). I doubt UAB would make the cut…but that’s the thought.

I’m not sure Memphis brings much of a TV market. Not because Memphis isn’t a nice size market, but because so many people in the Memphis market are SEC fans. About the only fans of U-Memp are inside Shelby County & of those we’re probably talking about only 40% or so. I just don’t see Memphis being part of the Big 12 plans unless that conference is more desperate than I realize (a possibility, I admit.) Houston makes more sense than Memphis. It has the same share-of-the-market problem that Memphis has, but Houston is a huge market & is already part of the conference footprint. While it might not “bring” the Houston market (because it’s already there), at least it could capitalize a bit more on it. Besides, there’s more to this decision than TV markets. It’s about making the conference more competitive nationally.

I think BYU makes some sense. Perhaps Boise, perhaps Colorado St, perhaps Cincy. All these are clear come-downs from the schools that left the conference, but they don’t have a whole lot of options.

I understand that Memphis people believe they’re in the mix if the Big 12 (still a silly name) goes to 14 teams, but are afraid they’ll be left out if the conference only goes to 12.

Personally, I think the optimum number for any conference is 12 (or even 10), at least from an intra-conference competition standpoint, but since nowadays the issue is more about a becoming a strong financial coalition, 14 or even more teams seems to be the rage. I know this: from an athletic competitiveness standpoint, at least historically, the difference between schools like Texas & OU and the schools they’re considering is huge.

In reading further since my OP on this subject, it appears that expansion is a done deal. The only questions are who and how many. Their consultants have convinced them that adding teams improves their chances to make the CFP every year dramatically, and their TV contract is written so that adding teams makes the pie bigger, not cutting the same pie into more pieces. Meanwhile, the current audition process seems to be a matter of which schools will take a smaller piece of that pie for the first few years.

I’m thinking at this point BYU, Memphis, UConn and Cincinnati. But if it comes down to who will require the least amount of money to join, it could be almost anyone. Even Boise State. They’re not ruling out a football-only member either, to avoid those lovely Wednesday night basketball trips from Boise to Morgantown.

I’m still amazed at how far this league has fallen. To lose NU, TAMU, CU, & Miz to be replaced by any of those 4 is a real dilution in power. Heck, the addition of WVU wasn’t a great addition, especially in light of the geographical distance. I’m not sure Boise is any closer to Austin or Norman than West VA is, but at least it seems to fit somewhat within a mid-continent landscape. BYU makes some sense to me. UConn just seems way out of line. I’d hate to be any of those minor sport athletes who’ll likely have to travel long distances on something less than jet airplanes. Memphis & Cincinnati are probably better geographical fits than some of the others, but I just can’t see either of them bringing much to the table. I guess if they’d pay to come & accept smaller pieces of the pie it makes some sense. Lord knows Memphis just craves being part of a major conference. I’m hearing SMU, Houston & Tulane are in the mix. I can’t imagine them taking SMU. Tulane makes sense except that its athletic programs have really slipped over the past several years. (It was an SEC member until the early 60’s.)

Boise is 1130 air miles from OKC (=Norman). Morgantown is 1010 miles.

Hartford, used as a proxy for UConn in Storrs, is 1410 miles from OKC.

But none of this makes any geographic sense. That went out the window when WVa was added in the first place.

Memphis’ attraction seems to be the piles of FedEx cash they would bring with them in sponsorships (let’s not get into the story of why FedEx left Little Rock). Certainly they don’t have a great fan base even within Shelby County, much less outside the Memphis metro area. I doubt for instance that there are a whole lot of Tiger High fans in West Memphis or Marion.

Houston and Memphis makes the most since. 1 program close to the cluster of the league and 1 program a little outside the boundaries. Both could become more competitive in football in the near future, while Memphis will initially add more flair in basketball.

To me, Houston makes no sense. It’s at best the #4 team in that metro area, and poorly supported (a 13-1 team averaged a whopping 33K attendance in a metro area of 5.6 million). It doesn’t add a single TV set to the LD footprint. Football has been pretty good lately under Sumlin and Herman, basketball mainly down, but they’re not looking at expansion to improve their competitive standing. Memphis at least adds some TV sets and is a step closer to WVU than anyone else, although Cincinnati and UConn would top them in that regard.

The question seems to be if Houston, or Tiger High or any other candidate, is willing to pass on more Big 12 revenue than the other schools longing to get in. In that sense they’re buying their way in, by handing over revenue to the 10 existing members for a few years.

Central Florida might be a darkhorse. Not very good, but in a very good recruiting area, a big market, with a ton of students (who presumably might be ticket buyers some day)

Not really. Since there will not be a Big 12 network (Bevonet has made sure that is the case), and since they somehow got ESPN to add another $20 or so million per new school added, TV sets are a minimal issue for them. They won’t completely ignore TV markets, but it’s much less of a consideration than when Mizzou and TAM joined the SEC.

As I understand it, a Big 12 network is exactly what they have in mind. Now I have no idea how this is supposed to work with bevo, the commish said they’re putting one together. Perhaps it will exist alongside bevo & feature every school except Yew-tee (only showing the whorns when they happen to be opposite the other B-12 school) or perhaps they’ll work out some other compromise. No way to know at this point.

One thing that no one talks about is how it appears (at least to me) that Texas has peed in their own canteen. They were so greedy that no one of any starture wants any part of them and the ones who are left are relegated to second tier status. The PAC-12 won’t accept a longhorn network. Neither will the SEC. Now it appears even the Big 12 is showing some sort of independence even while it brings in “peers” that Texas would have jeered at only a few years ago. Instead of equitably sharing revenue with Nebraska, CU, MU, & Tamu they ran all of them off. What they’re left with is a shell of it’s past that’s now 5th of the P5. I don’t know if any of that caused the whorns’ recent athletic woes or is merely coincidental with them, but right now it’d have to suck to be a longwhorn.

Chip, everything I’ve read on the subject this week is that there is zero chance of a Big 12 network, and the reason for that zero is Bevonet. Since EOE-A (the A in this case standing for Arrogant) sees no reason to give up its little unprofitable cash cow, the other 9-13 schools in the conference can go pound sand.

The current LD TV deal is worth about $25 million per school per year; somehow they got the networks to agree to pump in another $25 mill per year for each school added through expansion (clearly based on the assumption that they would go for schools with some TV value, which seems not to be the case). But if Houston or Memphis or UConn is willing to take $5 million a year instead of $25 million, that’s another $20 mill per year for EOE and Mobilehoma and Iowa State to split among themselves. And if they add four schools, make that an extra $80 million a year for the holdovers. But Houston might do it anyway because (a) they want the cachet of a Power 5 league; and (2) they’re not getting even $5 million a year now from the AAC TV deal anyway. I have no doubt too, that ticket sales at Tiger High or UConn or wherever will be much better when Texas or OU come to town than they are now when SMU or South Florida come in.

[quote] but right now it’d have to suck to be a longwhorn.
[/quote]

It would SUCK to be a longwhorn ANYTIME, not just now. :slight_smile:

You can exclude UCF as its basically in a UALR situation. The Gator fans in the Orlando metro area of over 2.1 Million (almost 60K students on campus alone ) out-number the Knights fans 3-1 easily.

No-one here outside the student body & alum could name 2 current football players.

#1. Orlando City Soccer
#2. Orlando Magic
#3. Florida Gators
#4. Tampa Bucs
#5. UCF

Meanwhile EOE-A officials are coming out in favor of adding Houston. Which surprises me a little. I did not think they would want to add another Texas school.

<LINK_TEXT text=“http://www.si.com/college-football/2016 … reg-fenves”>http://www.si.com/college-football/2016/07/21/big-12-conference-expansion-houston-texas-greg-fenves</LINK_TEXT>