Big 12 Expansion Press Conference Pregame Thoughts and Open Thread


The Big 12 will be live streaming a news conference today at 5:30 pm Central Time regarding expansion. Will the Big 12 expand by none as has been intimated over the past few weeks (with ESPN and Fox kicking in some money to kill expansion)? Maybe the Big 12 presidents will expand by 2, 4 or kick the can down the road?

This is just my gut feeling, but I believe the Big 12 presidents will vote to expand by 2 despite so much tampering down of expansion expectations over the last month. Whenever the Big 12 presidents have actually met together, they seem to believe that expansion is a positive. It’s only when they separate and are left to their own devices that more negative perceptions about expansion come around. Strictly on a psychological basis, the group dynamics can change a lot of things since the presidents have to confront what is best for the Big 12 conference overall as opposed to solely thinking about their own individual school’s interests.

We’ll see what happens. If the Big 12 decides to expand, it seems that this will come down to a game of musical chairs between BYU (arguably the most valuable school but also the most controversial politically), Houston (helped by a heavy dose of Texas politics) and Cincinnati (the non-controversial and very good across the board candidate but doesn’t have the passionate supporters that BYU and Houston seem to have). If any of the other candidates get into the Big 12 (which I examined Bachelor-style last month), then it would almost certainly entail the Big 12 expanding by 4. (As I noted on Twitter earlier today, my “crazy but plausible” scenario is the Big 12 adding BYU, Houston, Cincinnati… and Colorado State. This would address the disproportionately high number of Big 12 alums that live in the Denver market. I don’t think that scenario is very likely, but who knows what will happen when these Big 12 presidents get into a room.)

Regardless, feel free to use this post as an open thread to discuss Big 12 expansion and the presidential press conference. It’s pretty rare to have such anticipation for a conference realignment event where the outcome is truly up in the air, so enjoy the speculation while you can!

UPDATE (2:24 PM CT): Chip Brown reporting that there were no schools added by the Big 12:

We’ll see whether that means that Big 12 expansion is dead or if the presidents will continue to discuss this further ad nauseum.

UPDATE (2:34 PM CT): Pete Thamel also with a report that there won’t be Big 12 expansion:

UPDATE (2:52 PM CT): Jake Trotter from ESPN with another confirming report that there won’t be Big 12 expansion.:

Soooooo, it looks like this is going to be a pretty boring press conference.

(Image from Associated Press)