Will the Big 12 Conference Expand Again? All Signs Point to Maybe
Rumors are swirling yet again that it is time for yet another round of conference realignment. It’s even gotten the attention of NCAA president Mark Emmert in regards to conference realignment fuled by proposed changes to the postseason, ”If there’s going to be significant movement by FBS institutions over the course of the summer, it will be driven by that.”
That statement is in stark contrast to what Burns Hargis said in regards to expansion of the Big 12. “We’re all very satisfied with 10 teams. We’re not shutting the door to any opportunity that might arrive. We’re not in the market, we’re not receiving applications. Our expansion committee is inactive.”
That statement is confusing to say the least considering the rumors surrounding Clemson and Florida State’s possible movement to the Big 12. Not to mention the rumors surrounding Notre Dame and their move to the Big 12. This script is starting to sound familiar, a similar setup from last summer. Remember when the SEC had no interest in expansion, and not a week later Texas A&M and Missouri were proud members of the SEC? The setup is the same, simply replace the names of the schools and the conference.
If I had to decide, I would say the Big 12 is looking to expand regardless of word coming out of the conference is. Clemson and Florida State are logical choices that would be one anothers travel partners for non football athletics. Virginia Tech makes more sense than Notre Dame, as Virginia Tech could be West Virginia’s travel partner, clumping them together in a way that makes sense, not taking in Notre Dame in Indiana. It comes down to Va. Techs interest in the Big 12, as it seems from the outside looking in that they rule the ACC. Also, what happens if they do decide to go, what is the exit penalty, would a lawsuit be filed, who would the ACC go after to replace them?
There are a million different scenarios floating around, none of which fall in line with the current Big 12 stance on the issue. How will Texas Tech be affected by the realignment? How would the divisions work? All questions that would need to be answered should such a scenario arise.
Hypothetically, if the Big 12 realigned tomorrow with Florida State and Clemson, it would have to be a Big 12 East, and Big 12 West, with West Virginia, Florida State, Clemson, Kansas State, Kansas, and Iowa State in the East. Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma would all belong to the western division. If Va. Tech and another eastern school, such as Notre Dame or Louisville where to be added, how would that effect the divisions?
As of right now, none of these questions have answers, but a lot of pundits try to pretend they know.
What do you think? Who would you like to see in the Big 12?