Advertisement

Sizing up what the top Big 12 expansion candidates mean for Kansas

Advertisement

If you’ve followed any of the Big 12 expansion talk, whether in the past few years or just the past few days, you’ve probably heard it all.

From which universities are most likely to join the conference to which are the best fit and whether those who already are in the conference are planning to stay there, you’ve likely heard it all.

Of course, a good chunk of that time was spent deciphering whether the Big 12 was even going to expand at all. And, although we still do not know with 100 percent certainty that that is going to happen, the conference’s recent vote that authorized commissioner Bob Bowlsby to strongly dissect the pros and cons of all interested parties leads many to believe that Big 12 expansion is coming.

We may know more as soon as September and the big questions now are this: Who’s joining and will the Big 12 expand to 12 or 14?

Hindsight many years from now may tell us otherwise, but as things stand today, it does not seem like expansion will be a bad thing for KU. There’s the fear by some that the revenue split will go down, which certainly would be bad for KU, but if the TV contracts are renegotiated then the bottom line number may not drop that much and could even go up.

With that element of this whole situation understood and still as vague as it can be, let’s take a quick look at what the addition of each rumored contender would mean for Kansas.

BYU – Adding the Cougars does not really do anything for Kansas that it doesn’t do for the rest of the conference. If anything, it would bring another tough football program that KU will have to contend with as it attempts to climb out of the Big 12 basement and rebuild its football program into something respectable. BYU’s national brand would bring a few more eyeballs and television sets to Lawrence, Kansas, but not so much that it makes the BYU addition a reason to celebrate.

CINCINNATI - Cincy’s a much bigger city — 65th largest city in the US, 34th largest TV market — than the rest of the Big 12 home bases, which are described as college towns and not metropolitan areas, and adding the Bearcats would bring respectable football of late, a historically solid basketball program and inroads into a strong football recruiting base. That recruiting door sliding open — both for football and basketball — would probably be the most noteworthy aspect of this addition for Kansas.

COLORADO STATE - Kansas is already used to this trip, having partnered with Colorado in the Big 8 and Big 12 for years, so expansion to its neighbor to the west would not be as big of a transition for KU as it would for others. At least today, KU has a bigger athletic department budget than CSU and would be well positioned to stay ahead of the Rams in the Big 12 pecking order. But CSU is in the process of bringing to Fort Collins a $200-million on-campus football stadium and, under former Iowa State coach Larry Eustachy, who is more than a little familiar with Kansas basketball, has enjoyed a strong and somewhat silent stretch of basketball during the past few seasons. Clearly, this is a program on the rise and, if what I’ve heard about their campaign for Big 12 inclusion is accurate, this is going to be one of the more aggressive schools out there when it comes to bidding for a Big 12 spot.

HOUSTON - I’m a big fan of what Houston is doing right now, but I’m not sure Kansas should be. Houston, in many ways, is a bit of a sleeping giant and could really blow up if it lands under the Big 12 umbrella. That would not necessarily be good news for Kansas, especially the football program. Right now, KU football can go into Houston and get some of those athletes who do not choose to sign with Texas, Texas A&M, TCU and Baylor, occasionally even beating out UH for some of the same recruits. But if the Cougars are added to the conference, KU’s edge of being in a Power 5 conference goes away and it would make sense to assume that more than a few of those athletes would decide to stay home.

MEMPHIS - That high-dollar FedEx sponsorship that has been promised, should Memphis get in, would be a great thing for the Big 12 Conference and every single school in the league would benefit big time from that. From a competition perspective, it doesn’t seem like the Tigers would be too much of a threat to what KU can do. We’ll find out more about that in mid-September, when the Jayhawks head to Memphis for their third football game of the season. If anything, adding the Tigers would be a boost for the KU basketball program, provided that new head coach, Tubby Smith, can do in Memphis what he was starting to do at Texas Tech, giving KU an even greater strength of schedule than it already would have and another quality component to battle with in the weeks leading up to the Big Dance.

TULANE - Like the addition of Houston, this would be another blow to KU football, given KU’s recent success in recruiting the New Orleans area. If Tulane gets in, it joins LSU in becoming the only other Power 5 program in the state. That would do wonders for the Tulane football program, which, after inclusion, would have a lot more to offer all of that in-state talent that now is looking elsewhere for its college football needs. There are two sides to every coin, though, so as much as adding Tulane could hurt, it also could help make the mileage gap between Lawrence and Louisiana seem a little smaller given the conference brotherhood.

UCF – Orlando’s a big time market and there’s a lot to gain for the entire conference, should the Big 12 brass believe that now is the time to expand its footprint into Florida. The guess here is that it won’t be, but UCF recently has upgraded its coaching by bringing in Johnny Dawkins (of Stanford and Duke fame) to coach hoops and Scott Frost (of Nebraska and Oregon fame) to coach football. If that doesn’t tell you how serious the Knights are about upgrading their athletic department, nothing will. Adding a Florida-based program would be a bigger lift for KU football than KU hoops. Right now, Bill Self can go anywhere on the planet to recruit an athlete, while KU football has a more focused recruiting region. Adding UCF to the Big 12 would probably be the push KU needed to start exploring with a little more regularity what it can do in the Sunshine State.

UCONN – By far the biggest basketball program on the list that would add buzz to the Big 12, bringing UConn in would give Kansas its first truly elite conference partner in the college basketball world. Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas during the past decade or so all have been big time in the college basketball world. But those three combined can’t touch what UConn has done on the college basketball landscapre. National titles — both men’s and women’s — and Hall of Fame coaches are commonplace in Storrs, Connecticut. Add to that the fact that the UConn campus is less than an hour from ESPN headquarters in Bristol. The travel hit here would be significant. Storrs is 524 miles east of West Virginia (think Lawrence to Dallas), but the advantages seem to far outweigh the disadvantages.

Comments

Andy Tweedy 5 years, 2 months ago

From the headlines I saw last week, it sure seems like BYU and Houston would have to be labeled front-runners for the first two spots. Do you concur, or was this just some sort of posturing from those schools?

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

It's so hard to know right now and my advice to you is to second-guess everything you hear. BYU and Houston certainly are in the "favorites" category and Houston, with backing from Texas and Texas Tech, among others, seems to be gaining some serious momentum. But I think it's safe to say that Bowlsby and the rest of the Big 12 leaders are going to make damn sure that this thing goes smoothly and does not play out in a manner that makes it look like one institution — any of them — forced the Big 12's hand here.

Gut feeling tells me this: If they go with two, it'll be one that makes perfect sense and is predictable and another that might not be, something like Houston and Tulane or Cincinnati and Colorado State. Those are not my guesses. I'm not there yet. Just a gut feeling at this point.

Still a lonnnnnnng way to go, though.

Titus Canby 5 years, 2 months ago

No Nebraska or Colorado?

I feel that, for the purpose of the strength of the conference, we would want the best possible schools in both scholastics and football. The only schools on this list that qualify in those terms are BYU and Colorado State. All the rest (with the exception of UConn) are commuter schools and, in my opinion, a definite downgrade in prestige.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

UConn is an elite academic school and is absolutely NOT a commuter school. It's 25 miles from Hartford in the middle of the state....

The Huskers are NOT leaving the B1G.

Mike Greer 5 years, 2 months ago

"UConn is an elite academic school. . . "
And has their nose in the air and isn't likely to come to the "academically challenged" Big XII. They're also a BB school and this realignment thing is really all about football. It don't see UConn in the Big XII.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

"And has their nose in the air and isn't likely to come to the "academically challenged" Big XII."

I guess that's why they're applying.....

Mike Greer 5 years, 2 months ago

Applying and joining are two totally different levels, it's like dating and getting married.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

You're arguing with yourself Mikie. YOU said they didn't want in, now you're saying they do but won't be accepted.

Do you bring this level of confusion and disinformation to your personal relationships?

Mike Greer 5 years, 2 months ago

No Jay, that's not what I wrote or what I meant or what I thought, it's what you read into what I wrote and what you concluded.

Tim Browne 5 years, 2 months ago

"Elite" is such a tricky term.

UConn among the Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity -- as are ALL the public schools in the Big XII.

That said, they're not a AAU university, which are the MOST elite research universities... and include Texas, Kansas, and Iowa State (Note that so is Tulane, for the record.)

So they can be plenty snotty but it seem like they'd fit in just fine academically.

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

Didn't include any of those former Big 12 programs because I just can't see it happening... Could it? Yeah. It could. But it would be way harder to add those schools than any of the others and that, in my opinion, is what makes the schools listed above much more likely.

Titus Canby 5 years, 2 months ago

Thanks Matt. Has there been any discussion of Notre Dame?

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

Notre Dame? You're being sarcastic, right?

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 2 months ago

Why would the Big 12 fight the ACC on a Grant of Rights that runs through 2040 to get everything but ND football?

Chuck Holder 5 years, 2 months ago

Colorado St and quality in the same sentence? For decades CS was the kicking post of the Big 12 along with KU. That's sort of like KU being a FB powerhouse because a few years ago they actually won a game or two.

Vernon Riggs 5 years, 2 months ago

Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU would vote to block University of Houston. Don't need more P5 schools recruiting in Texas.

Gerry Butler 5 years, 2 months ago

ummm, WRONG, Actually Texas is actually now pushing for Houston to be admitted to the Conference the other little sisters will fall right in line with big brother

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 2 months ago

UT's president (the guy who actually votes on the matter) has publicly tweeted support for UH joing the Big 12.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

Interesting times.....

I'm starting to like the 4 school idea more. UConn and BYU are the best long term choices IMO. Houston, Cincy, Memphis and CSU are a pick'em.

The directional Florida schools have nothing the Big12 needs.

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

Completely agree. Because it's so hard to pick just two from this pool of seemingly equal candidates, I think the right move would be to add four and go for the strength in numbers approach... That would be a power move and it would be fun to see how that was received by the rest of college athletics...

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 2 months ago

UH will exploded to become one of the most competitive teams in all sports in the new B1g-12. That is why UT and BU have always opposed them. It was UT that kept UH out of the Big 12 in the first place. Ann Richards, the then Governor, stepped in to get BU in instead of UH.

Robert Brown 5 years, 2 months ago

Matt- What do you think the likelihood of no expansion is? Texas politics is getting involved to promote UH saying expansion without UH is a non-starter. I know that is posturing. I agree with your assessment of UH. It would be bad for the non-Texas schools to add another P5 school in Texas competing for talent. If the non-Texas schools vote out UH, isn't there a likelihood that no other candidates are accepted and the conference remains at 10?

Also, KU has been very quiet regarding all of this. Do you have any ideas what its position is on expansion of the schools listed above?

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

I definitely think it should be remembered that they don't HAVE TO expand. But this latest wave of momentum and all of the public campaigning sure makes it seem inevitable.

I'd put it at 70-30 in favor of expansion and we can do a percentage wheel in another blog that goes into greater detail, such as how many and with whom...

Scott Lippoldt 5 years, 2 months ago

Ouch--some of those numbers are not all that flattering for KU...

Daniel Kennamore 5 years, 2 months ago

Matt,

You can't do a realignment post and NOT include a percentage wheel.

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

My bad, Daniel. Nothing is imminent at the moment so we're not there yet, but we can work on that for a future blog!!!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 2 months ago

All the dynamics associated with Big 12 expansion has been a thrill to observe. So many unpublished possibilities, but apparently well discussed behind the scenes, have come to light. Yes I've heard about talk of 4 Super Conferences but I never expected there have been so many detailed high level discussions on the topic. I never heard anything credible that 1) OU and OSU are the intended 15th and 16th teams the SEC intends to add; 2) the B1G was a real possibility for KU with NU championing our entry. Also that the B1G still wanted ND. KU and ND would be the 15th and 16th B1G teams. 3) UT, TTU, BU and TCU would-be PAC-12's 13-16 teams.

Absent poaching the PAC-12 for teams (CU, AU, ASU, UCLA), it seems the UH and BYU are certain for the first two with Cinti and UConn the 13th and 14th. I'd love to get CSU. Denver and especially Ft. Collins are terrace areas. I know someone that told LJW's Tom Keegan a year ago the league would expand to include UH and BYU.

Personally, I'm super excited for UH and UCONN. Last year UH went 13-1 in football with wins over 4 top 25 teams and 3 Power-5 teams. Their lone loss was to....UCONN. Onther thing of note...the past three UH coaches have been Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin and current coach Tom Herman. Herman is probably the best young coach in American and BU thought they had him locked up for next year. Now BU will be left to suck on UH's tail pipe!

The NYC area opening even more to Bill Self is really cool. KU playing UCONN in MSG or even the Barclay Center is a ticket I'm buying ASAP! I'd love to know more about the KU to B1G option, such as, is it really a realistic possibility?

Brian Wilson 5 years, 2 months ago

Sometime in the past it was mentioned that KU goes no where without KSU and that the powers in Topeka would put a halt to KU leaving for the B1G without KSU. I wonder what Matt has to say about that?

Dan Mangan 5 years, 2 months ago

I haven't seen anything that shows KU to the B1G is a possibility. I'm not sure what we have to offer that the B1G would want? No new TV markets, not elite in football, not elite in academics. Taking KU would be a dollars loss to all the other B1G schools at this point, with or with out KSU.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

KU hoops is one of the strongest brands in College Sports. The KC market is bigger than many in the B1G. (Wikepedia 24th largest CSA) Basketball has a much more stable future than football.

OSU, Michigan and the football powers would be fine with a team that isn't likely to challenge their dominance.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 2 months ago

Kansas is also an AAU school, which is extremely important to the B1G. Also, apparently NU has been or seems inclined to but our 'champion' for entrance. Perhaps it's no surprise NU Self agreed to the NU BBall series.

Dan Mangan 5 years, 2 months ago

They already have the KC market with MU so I don't think that we have a TV market to offer...maybe Wichita. And the TV market is based on football. Our blue blood basketball program isn't getting us in...only a strong football program can do that.

Mike Greer 5 years, 2 months ago

And all this time I thought MU was in the SEC. Was there a recent trade?

Steve Hillyer 5 years, 2 months ago

Outside of BYU none of the schools are very attractive, picking up 1-3 of them just makes the Big 12 look like a dressed up Conference USA. It is also telling how dysfunctional this conference is with the politicking going on in Texas with regards to Houston, you saw none of this when the other power five conferences expanded a few years ago. Hopefully KU administrators are quietly contacting the Big 10 and SEC to see if there is any interest or possibility of KU getting an invite. While on the subject of those two conferences, I wonder if they may not go ahead and try to lure a couple of Big 12 schools before any decision is made by the Big 12 to expand, certainly the Big 12 will have to extend the GOR, if the networks are going to increase the payout?

Robert Brock 5 years, 2 months ago

Houston is a cruddy commuter school. Forget it.

Robert Brown 5 years, 2 months ago

They are not really just a commuter school and have significantly improved its academic profile. They have a very dynamic chancellor who has upped the research profile and understands the importance of athletics when it comes to branding. With that said, I think it would not be a good idea for Houston to be invited to the Big 12

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 2 months ago

UH is a Tier 1 research school. Commuter schools do not have that distinction.

Doug Cramer 5 years, 2 months ago

My vote would be BYU, Colo State...then get Nebraska and Colorado back to make it the Big 14.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

While we're in full dream mode, why not forget CSU and BYU, dump WVU, bring back CU, A&M and NU and add LSU, AR, Illinois and Iowa and be the Super 16.....and surround M'Zoo

Heck...let's dump CU and TTU and get UK and IU...

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 2 months ago

Matt, adding UH will not hurt KU in recruiting the Houston area. UH already outrecruits everyone in the Big 12 and tge players here that don't end up at UH usually go to an SEC school. Adding UH will boost the Big 12's recruiting profile here which the league desperately needs right now.

Ian Fitzsimmons was filling in on Russillo and Kanell today and was arguing that the Big 12 should have added Houston yesterday. He cited local TV ratings for college football games last season and said the Big 12 only had 2 of the top 10 games and only one in the top 5. The SEC had 6, and UH had 2 as well. Adding a 20% market share in the 6th biggest media market in the country should make adding UH a no brainer for the Big 12 at this point.

Robert Brown 5 years, 2 months ago

I disagree. Adding TCU hurt KU and adding Houston will further hurt KU. Ku used to be able to sell playing in the Big 12 when competing with TCU. Now that TCU is in the Big 12, that advantage is taken away. TCU can make the pitch that you can play in the Big 12 and be closer to home. Adding another Texas school gives player another option. TCU being in the Big 12 has probably hurt UT to some extent.

The other argument against UH is that the Big 12 has a foothold in Houston. There are more UT fans here than UH fans.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

And even more A&M fans.

But there's no denying that UH would gear up for the Big12/14/16 and that the Houston market would be swayed accordingly...A lot of UH alum chose a secondary rooting interest in "big time" college ball since the SWC died.That would largely end.

William Daniels 5 years, 2 months ago

Suzi Marshall, the Longhorn conference pic you posted in clever and disturbing.

I have been wondering, with this talk about poaching teams, a lot of the P5 conferences made it very punitive for teams to leave early. Is that true for CU or NU; it would be too punitive to be practical?

Glen Miller 5 years, 2 months ago

I understand why Houston is a front runner and at some point, they will be in a Power 5 conference..... I'm just not sure I want it to be the Big 12. We're already sitting at 4 Texas schools and although we do not have full grip on the Houston market (which we never will with A&M in the SEC) I think we've got a piece of that pie already and I do not really care to give the state of Texas control of half our conference. I wouldn't be opposed to Houston if that's what's best, I just do not feel personally that it is. BYU, while a nice coupe.... puts us in West Virginia type territory. Meaning, the travel to play there is completely out of the way for pretty much every school in the conference and travels costs will rise significantly. There is also the Sunday games problem for non-major sports. Although both BYU and Houston bring the "power" along with them, I just don't feel these are our best choices.

I'd like to see Cincinnati considered pretty heavily. Being the TV market they are in and they would give West Virginia a partner to dance with and expand our recruiting footprint. Ohio is chalk full of talent in high school and also puts us in the Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania area.... which should bring attention from those recruits a bit more. I also believe that they've got a sustainable program in both football and basketball if they get into a Power 5 conference. The other school I would like to see come to the Big 12 is Memphis. I know they are not the "sexy" pick, but logistically and market wise, it makes sense. It also provides a stronger bridge to all schools in the Big 12 location wise. Memphis has a nice TV market and would provide fertile recruiting grounds again, just as Cinncy. The TV market is also not a terrible one and puts us right in the middle of SEC country. Probably would open up Georgia a bit more and provide a stronger hold on Virginia and the Carolina's to snag some kids. I also think the basketball program would really rise at Memphis if they were to join the Big 12 and have Kansas on their schedule every year.

There are several schools out there that will be considered there is no doubt. For the most part, it will come down to the choice of our committee and we'd be ignorant to believe that their agendas will not sway some votes...... but no matter what we do, I just want it to be a good move for our conference and not a decision made out of foolishness to think that we "have" to do anything right now. Make sure we're strengthening our conference and not settling for average. Outside of that, I'm on board with what our leaders think is best. I'm a fan, my opinion is just that...... I pray that these University leaders and the committee will do their due diligence and not make a knee jerk reaction.

Ron Sterling 5 years, 2 months ago

Adding 4 is thinking too small. If Big 12 officials truly believe that the ACC, SEC, and Big 10 are looking to go to 16 teams, the way forward is clear: get there first. Add BYU, UH, Cincy, Memphis, UCONN, and UCF, then create two 8 team divisions.

WEST:

Baylor

BYU

ISU

KU

KSU

OU

OSU

TTech

EAST:

Cincy

UCONN

Memphis

TU

TCU

UH

UCF

WVU

Or maybe a North/South approach:

NORTH:

BYU

Cincy

UCONN

ISU

KU

KSU

Memphis

WVU

SOUTH:

Baylor

UH

OU

OSU

TU

TCU

TTECH

UCF

Maybe even pods of 4 teams:

1.

BYU

ISU

KU

KSU

2.

Baylor

OU

OSU

TTECH

3.

UH

TU

TCU

UCF

4.

Cincy

UCONN

Memphis

WVU

Although, I think that approach lets the Texas teams off too much in terms of travel. But either way, if we're going to bother with expansion, it's go big or go home. Minimum 4 new teams, but 6 if they have any sense.

Ron Sterling 5 years, 2 months ago

Honestly, the 6th team doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me as long as we bring in the top candidates. CSU, UCF, and Tulane are all on equal footing as far as I'm concerned.

Doug Longstaff 5 years, 2 months ago

"Cincy’s a much bigger city — 65th largest city in the US, 34th largest TV market — than the rest of the Big 12 home bases, which are described as college towns and not metropolitan areas"

--Fort Worth alone is bigger than Cincinnati, and a part of the #5th largest DMA in the country. Austin is also considerably larger, and a similar-sized DMA (39th, CIncy is 36th). Technically speaking, Lawrence is a part of the Kansas City DMA (33rd).

Don't think it's accurate to say that Cincy is a much bigger city than the rest of the Big 12 home bases.

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

In population alone, Cincinnati dwarfs Lawrence, Ames, Norman, Stillwater, Manhattan, Morgantown and Waco. On top of that, the feel is far different than that of a college town. That's all I was getting at.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

Would New Mexico have a prayer? I've seen suggestions that they're interested...

Matt Tait 5 years, 2 months ago

Can't see it. If it were to come down to the Big 12 wanting/needing to add New Mexico, I'd think they'd just believe they're better off not expanding.

John Gallagher 5 years, 2 months ago

Unless Nebraska or Notre Dame or both are part of 4 incoming teams the addition of any of other mentioned schools will weaken Conference, not strengthen it. In fact if dream scenario develops and Notre Dame joins and Nebraska returns then Conference should stop at 12 teams.. I know it is most likely a dream but the rivalries that would return with addition of those two schools make my mouth water. Big 12 has to think BIG!! If there is ANY chance, Big 12 should pull out all stops and offer any incentives acceptable to other League members to those two schools before even approaching any of the other schools mentioned.

Bill Pitcher 5 years, 2 months ago

Why does KU want to affiliate with the likes of the above schools when we should be trying to affiliate with the BiG 10?

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

For the same reasons that you didn't "affiliate" with Raquel Welch....

She wasn't interested.

Both may change in the future.

Michael Lorraine 5 years, 2 months ago

I would have gone with someone more contemporary but that’s funny.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

Bill and Raquel are contemporaries....

Mike Greer 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm more of a Christie Brinkley guy myself. Just sayin

Richard O'Neal 5 years, 2 months ago

For all the hype behind BYU, adding them doesn’t do much for the B12. BYU’s media footprint for sports isn’t as broad as first impressions suggest. Provo/SLC media market is small (33 and dropping) and stagnant. Over a time span when SLC/Provo grew by 3000, the Orlando market grew by 50,000, and the Tampa St. Pete market grew by 80,000. I keep reading articles touting some schools for their success in football, but they don’t live up to it. BYU is considered a prime football school, but they’ve had about as much success over the last thirty-five years as UCF has had in the last ten. Same for Cincinnati, and Louisville. The year UCF defeated Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl Louisville was supposed to win the conference. Cincinnati was projected to be in the AAC conference championship games all three years. The B12 the conference has to have schools in large markets. After Houston the only schools that would have a deep impact for the B12’s are UCF and USF. Both are in major media markets; #12 and #19. Tampa St, Pete will probably be a top 10 market in decade, and Orlando will probably be a top fifty market, and there is a ton of high school talent in Central Florida. And the recruiting bonuses that comes with UCF and USF; there are thousands of former students that went to Big 12 schools living in Central Florida, thousands of people living in Central Florida that came from Kansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Texas – and they would love to see schools from their home states compete in Florida. Then there’s the weather; how many Kansas or K-State fans want to travel to Provo, or Cincinnati, or Hartford during the cold days of the football season? Central Florida has fantastic weather during football and basketball season; great golf courses to visit before or after the game, or the beach thirty minutes away, the space coast, day cruises from the ports, deep sea fishing, theme parks, night life. Then there’s the ease of travel to Central Florida; few places on the planet are as easy to make travel arrangements for. There are two airports each about a dozen miles from the UCF campus; one that is dominated by charters, the other, OIA, an international airport that can has direct flights from every medium to large city in America. Central Florida is a college football crazy land. Even after going 0-12 last year, UCF is the most popular college football program in Central Florida; topping UF, FSU, and Miami. UCF has the largest under-grad enrollment in America, and USF isn’t too far behind. These are two very large schools that have been churning out graduates for decades. There are hundreds of thousands of former UCF and USF students living along the I-4 corridor waiting for the inevitable; that these schools will eventually be in a P5 conference. If not now, it will come when the GOR expires for the B12, or the SEC. At that point network pressure will force the issue. The Big 12 would be foolish to blow this by looking elsewhere.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

No comment in history used so many words to say so little. The Big12 doesn't need two directional schools with no pedigree in athletics or academics.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm with you about the pedigree thing but O'Neal makes a good point about the Tampa and Orlando areas. We all have our favorites and UCF and USF would be in my top 6 favorites...1) UH, 2) CSU, 3) BYU, 4) CSU, 5) UCF, 6) UCONN. I love Cinti but don't know who to drop.

Think about how cool it would be to combine ski trips to Utah and Colorado, not to mention Disney World, Deep Sea Fishing in Florida when making trips to follow the Hawks. How about a weekend in NYC to see a Broadway play, great dining and watching The Hawks in MSG (or Barclay) playing vs UConn. If UConn joins they should have Kansas vs UConn in MSG as the inaugural game!

Israel Larson 5 years, 2 months ago

"BYU is considered a prime football school, but they’ve had about as much success over the last thirty-five years as UCF has had in the last ten"

Ummm, remind me exactly when UCF won a National Championship, or had a Heisman trophy winner. (or even a finalist) Or went to 11 straight bowl games, or was top 5 in wins for the last 20 years, or averaged 58k fans a home game?

Scout Miglionico 5 years, 2 months ago

"But those three combined can’t touch what UConn has done on the college basketball landscapre." I'm not sure what a "landscapre" is, but let's be honest - KU can't touch UConn's basketball program. UConn has a solid history of being national contenders every year; KU, in comparison, is a campus full of wannabes.

In fact, let's go further with the honesty - Adding any two of the teams listed just means two more teams to lose football games to.

Nobody cares what a one-horse school like KU thinks; they should be busy trying to figure out how to keep their football program afloat without draining funds from the other sport. You're dangerously close to being squeezed out of the Big 12 as it is with a "football program" like that...since all member schools MUST put a football team on the field.

Stop writing garbage like this. The University of Kansas (aka the Mizzou of Kansas) is already enough of an embarrassment without morons like you drawing attention to it.

Jay Scott 5 years, 2 months ago

Someone is still struggling with feelings of abandonment from having to stop breastfeeding....

Bob Bailey 5 years, 2 months ago

Anything less than 16 teams is a complete waste of time. And likely UConn won't be interested. Cinti and Memphis are right geographically and wont hurt the TV market. Fla has several more populous areas. Utah is wrong geographically. Spread East and SE. Keep TX out of it. No more TX schools. The E & SE are likely expansion markets for both population and schools. Some may take a while to get there, like KU's football program. Get with it, or you'll all be left behind. And get with it NOW!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.