If you’ve been on the Big 12 expansion roller coaster since day one I commend your never-say-die attitude and, frankly, loose grip on sanity. As someone sitting in the very front of that carnival ride, I can say it has been more than a little taxing to follow this story, trying to pull dribs and drabs of optimism from off-handed quotes by Big 12 officials.
Well the newest drib tumbled out of Big 12 media days yesterday, as David Boren, Oklahoma’s president and board chair of the Big 12, said the conference board has instructed commissioner Bob Bowlsby to evaluate expansion candidates and their interest in joining the Big 12.
Is this a rapid reaction to the ACC’s new TV deal with ESPN? Or perhaps there are more underhanded motivations at play? No matter the cause, this is a major step forward for Big 12 expansion, but more importantly, Cincinnati’s Power 5 dreams. As we know, UC, along with UConn, Memphis, Houston, UCF, USF, BYU and Colorado State have all thrown their hats in the ring as potential candidates. With Boren saying the league could add up to four teams, hope is still alive for just about every one of those schools, including UC.
CBS Sports’s Dennis Dodd predicts that BYU and an American Athletic Conference team will be the additions, although he also hinted that the team from the AAC might be less red and black and more blue and white.
To top it off ran into influential P5 coach (not B12) in hotel after expansion announcement: "memphis," he said, "book it."— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 20, 2016
Before we all collapse in on ourselves like a dying star, its important to remember that nothing is set in stone. After all, just a month ago Boren said that the Big 12 was pumping the brakes on expansion, especially since the possibility of a league network was crumbling. Plus, there is no official schedule for how and when any of this will happen, although Boren did say the conference intends to act soon, with a vote potentially coming in the fall. I guess we'll all just have to stay strapped in and keep our hands and legs inside the car at all times for a while longer.