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There's still hope for the Big 12

BamaDude

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A few years ago when the Big 12 was toying with expansion, I said that they made a big mistake by not at least getting back to 12 teams because they were the most at-risk of the Power-5 conferences. That statement has proven to be accurate, as the recent announced departures of the league's two premier schools points out. However, not all is lost.

Earlier, I thought the AAC might have the upper hand in the battle for expansion that may ensue, but now I'm not so sure that that is the case. While the AAC is spread out into a wider variety of attractive markets than the 8 Big 12 leftovers, the American's current television contract is a good bit less, and it's bowl tie-ins are considerably dwarfed by those of the Big 12.

The B-12's current bowl contracts are worth something in the range of $28 million, while the AAC's stands closer to $8 million (not counting a couple of bowl games that didn't release per-team figures). That's a big difference!

Of course, without Oklahoma & Texas in the fold, the B-12's future broadcast value will nosedive sharply, and some of the bowl tie-ins could be dropped, as well. But much of that can be mitigated if the Big 12 can persuade the right teams to come aboard by the time Oklahoma & Texas depart in 2025. The league might even be able to keep its status as a Power-5 conference.

The best scenario would be to get back to 12 teams, and the first two teams that should be added would be BYU and Central Florida. The Cougars have a wide following, and every 2 or 3 years they seem to have a really good team. They also tend to have a pretty bad team in between those good ones, but their average home attendance would rank 3rd or 4th in the Big 12 most years. UCF draws roughly the same as Baylor & TCU, but puts out high-quality teams on a steadier basis than most of the mid-level B-12 teams. Those two schools would get the Vitamin League back to 10 teams.

The next order of business would be to decide whether or not to leave BYU on an island by themselves, or to add another western team as a travel companion in the Olympic sports. If you want another western team, but don't want to stretch the league boundaries to the west coast, then you would most likely have to choose between Colorado St., Air Force, and UNLV. Then you have to decide whether or not to keep the Texas contingent at 3 schools, or push it back up to 4 again; or whether it would be better to add another program in the east.

If you decide to keep Texas membership at its current 4-team level, then you've got 4 choices - none of which draw more than around 25,000 fans per game. Houston seems to be the popular choice, but SMU might be the smarter choice since it would put the TCU-SMU rivalry back in-house again. Rice & North Texas are the other two schools with similar attendance but far less football success in recent years.

If the league decides its okay to keep the Texas quotient at 3 schools, then the most logical 12th addition would be Memphis. The Tigers have had a lot of recent football success, they are usually good in basketball, and they draw more than any current AAC team not named UCF. Plus, the Memphis area is a good recruiting area for football & basketball talent, and the school kind of breaks up the gap between UCF, West Virginia, and the rest of the conference. Other possibilities would be Cincinnati, Temple, and South Florida; but I think Memphis would be the best fit.

Any thoughts along these lines from the rest of you?
 

NolePride

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I think SMU would be their first choice. I wouldn't have a problem with Houston joining the league also, but that could
reshape it into a regional league. I wouldn't overlook the possibility of Tulsa joining the league either. They also would
want to take both UCF and USF. That would give them the I-4 corridor of Tampa and Orlando. Those are major TV
markets and their are more quality HS football teams in the Tampa area than the entire state of Tennessee.

I think that the Big12 also needs to keep tabs on WVU. If the ACC were to expand, they could very well look at WVU
as a ballclub and WVU would cut their travel finances in half joining the ACC.

The next couple of years will be interesting
 

BamaDude

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I think SMU would be their first choice. I wouldn't have a problem with Houston joining the league also, but that could
reshape it into a regional league. I wouldn't overlook the possibility of Tulsa joining the league either. They also would
want to take both UCF and USF. That would give them the I-4 corridor of Tampa and Orlando. Those are major TV
markets and their are more quality HS football teams in the Tampa area than the entire state of Tennessee.

I think that the Big12 also needs to keep tabs on WVU. If the ACC were to expand, they could very well look at WVU
as a ballclub and WVU would cut their travel finances in half joining the ACC.

The next couple of years will be interesting
I'm pretty much in agreement regarding UCF & USF, but somewhat on the fence regarding SMU. Does the Big 12 really need 4 Texas schools - especially if 3 of them are private schools? I also don't think Tulsa brings any real value to the league.

Getting BYU, UCF, USF & Memphis would be a nice haul. And, if they worked it out so that the first two teams could come aboard in 2023, then Texas & Oklahoma would have to share some of their revenue with them for a couple of years before they go bye-bye. (I know. So would everyone else; but having a pair of quality teams onboard prior to the Sooner/Horns extraction might make negotiating /extending new tv & bowl contracts easier - especially if one or more of the new teams qualified for a New Years Six bowl during that span). Then have the other two teams join in 2025.

Under this setup, the Big 12 would look like this:

West: BYU, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma St., Kansas St. & Kansas.
East: Iowa St., Baylor, West Virginia, Memphis, USF, UCF.

As far as West Virginia goes: the ACC didn't want them the last time they were available. I'm not sure anything has happened that will change their minds this time around, even though they seem like they would be a natural fit in that conference.
 

thunderc

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I don’t see a lot of hope of staying a relevant power conference
 

NolePride

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I'm pretty much in agreement regarding UCF & USF, but somewhat on the fence regarding SMU. Does the Big 12 really need 4 Texas schools - especially if 3 of them are private schools? I also don't think Tulsa brings any real value to the league.

Getting BYU, UCF, USF & Memphis would be a nice haul. And, if they worked it out so that the first two teams could come aboard in 2023, then Texas & Oklahoma would have to share some of their revenue with them for a couple of years before they go bye-bye. (I know. So would everyone else; but having a pair of quality teams onboard prior to the Sooner/Horns extraction might make negotiating /extending new tv & bowl contracts easier - especially if one or more of the new teams qualified for a New Years Six bowl during that span). Then have the other two teams join in 2025.

Under this setup, the Big 12 would look like this:

West: BYU, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma St., Kansas St. & Kansas.
East: Iowa St., Baylor, West Virginia, Memphis, USF, UCF.

As far as West Virginia goes: the ACC didn't want them the last time they were available. I'm not sure anything has happened that will change their minds this time around, even though they seem like they would be a natural fit in that conference.
It depends on what they envision for the league, financially. If it's a regional set-up, it greatly reduces finances. Then SMU, Houston and Tulsa
would bring value to the league. Theolympic sports do not drain the bank accounts. But you are going to find it difficult to get
expensive Bowl Contracts without having teams that travel well. If it is going to be for an overall league, I'd have problem with BYU
being offered. Football Only, then BYU would make sense, but a league would have to cede too much to them for Basketball
and Baseball. They won't play on Sunday's so you would cede consistency of schduling to them. You would play your entire schedule
with Fri-Sun games but when you faced them, you would have to go Thurs-Sat. That affects your mid-wek pitching/scheduling and pitcher rest.

In basketball, they can only be placed in a thurs-Sat bracket. That could cost another team a seed possibility. I believe I would attempt to lure
Boise State away from the MWC before I went after BYU.

Whatever they decide, they cannot make a mistake. One mistake would doom the league. Plus they must be able to hang on to the
teams that are left.

As for W Va. There was some talk before about them academically. Then when the ACC was pushed to add a couple of schools
they went out and got Louisville. Well, if the league would take those renegades, they'll take anybody.
 

GoldRusher

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West Keep the western teams in the west , have to keep travel costs down

Okie State
Iowa State
TCU
Baylor (rivalry game w TCU)
KState
KU (rival game w KState)
Texas Tech
BYU

East

WVU
Cincy (rival for WVU)
UCF
USF (rivalry in FL)
Memphis
ECU (potential rival w Memphis)
Army (eyeballs, same as Navy)
Navy (best rivalry in CFB is in the conference now)
 

tabascojet

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Going to 16 is too much. He'll they wouldn't even get back to 12 before okie and Tejas decided to jump ship. Avoid going west as much as possible. Kansas will most definitely jump ship to protect its basketball brand too.

Isu, okie st, bailer, Texas tech, tcu, ksu
Wvu, ucf, usf, cincy, Memphis, Houston

Want to go 14 add for markets with byu and tulane over ecu army or navy. Army left a conference once before over dumb matchups and I doubt they go all in like thst ever again.
 

BamaDude

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West Keep the western teams in the west , have to keep travel costs down

Okie State
Iowa State
TCU
Baylor (rivalry game w TCU)
KState
KU (rival game w KState)
Texas Tech
BYU

East

WVU
Cincy (rival for WVU)
UCF
USF (rivalry in FL)
Memphis
ECU (potential rival w Memphis)
Army (eyeballs, same as Navy)
Navy (best rivalry in CFB is in the conference now)
16 teams waters down the conference too much. More teams with less money to go around. Army & Navy only add eyeballs when they are playing each other.
Going to 16 is too much. He'll they wouldn't even get back to 12 before okie and Tejas decided to jump ship. Avoid going west as much as possible. Kansas will most definitely jump ship to protect its basketball brand too.

Isu, okie st, bailer, Texas tech, tcu, ksu
Wvu, ucf, usf, cincy, Memphis, Houston

Want to go 14 add for markets with byu and tulane over ecu army or navy. Army left a conference once before over dumb matchups and I doubt they go all in like thst ever again.
Where's Kansas gonna go? The Mountain West? Big East? MVC? AAC? The Big 10 doesn't want them, and the Big 12 may try to raid the AAC for their better teams.
 

Payton

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It depends on what they envision for the league, financially. If it's a regional set-up, it greatly reduces finances. Then SMU, Houston and Tulsa
would bring value to the league. Theolympic sports do not drain the bank accounts. But you are going to find it difficult to get
expensive Bowl Contracts without having teams that travel well. If it is going to be for an overall league, I'd have problem with BYU
being offered. Football Only, then BYU would make sense, but a league would have to cede too much to them for Basketball
and Baseball. They won't play on Sunday's so you would cede consistency of schduling to them. You would play your entire schedule
with Fri-Sun games but when you faced them, you would have to go Thurs-Sat. That affects your mid-wek pitching/scheduling and pitcher rest.

In basketball, they can only be placed in a thurs-Sat bracket. That could cost another team a seed possibility. I believe I would attempt to lure
Boise State away from the MWC before I went after BYU.

Whatever they decide, they cannot make a mistake. One mistake would doom the league. Plus they must be able to hang on to the
teams that are left.

As for W Va. There was some talk before about them academically. Then when the ACC was pushed to add a couple of schools
they went out and got Louisville. Well, if the league would take those renegades, they'll take anybody.
Agreed, once the ACC added Louisville, I think that put WVU back on the table. By that time they were already in the Big XII though. I'd imagine the ACC will definitely include West Virginia this go round if they expand again.
 

tabascojet

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Good moves for everyone but ucf imo. If they join a flyover state conference without more closer teams to play they will be an also ran again quick. The knights need to negotiate in usf to come with them no mater how much the bulls suck right now.
 

fredsdeadfriend

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Good moves for everyone but ucf imo. If they join a flyover state conference without more closer teams to play they will be an also ran again quick. The knights need to negotiate in usf to come with them no mater how much the bulls suck right now.
I agree they are all good moves, except for maybe UCF? I think UCF would fit better in the ACC as they'll be all alone there in Florida with no conference mates nearby, but yeah, I know, the ACC is already pretty full.

And USF? I personally would like to see them and Georgia Tech join the B1G, which would make room in the ACC for UCF, lol. They'd be close enough to each other to help cut down a little on some of the travel costs that would come from being in the B1G. Both would add big media footprints and just about as much in Research dollars as the B1G could add to the Conf. But since that probably won't happen, GT leaving the ACC I mean, the next option I'd like to add is Boston University, they'd add a nice sized media footprint and decent sized research dollars and something basically no other school available could is a decent hockey program. Biggest problem for BU is getting their football up and running again. Starting them up in cfb from scratch is probably something the B1G won't opt to do. But it's easier to build up a football program from scratch than it is a vibrant research imprint.

But enough about the B1G. It'll be relevant eventually as 4 conferences of 16 each seem like the most likely end game here. and It sounds like this Big 12 expansion thing is basically a done deal, but will it end here? This gets the Big 12 up to 12 finally, but they lost a ton of mojo. I think this is just a temporary bandage. Don't see the Big 12 going down without a fight, but if they don't expand the playoff to 8 teams, one conference is always going to get screwed for sure, and some years it could be two conferences getting screwed and most likely it will be the same conference getting screwed most years, and at this rate, I'd put my money on that conf being the Big 12.

But for the four 16 team conference thing to happen, the biggest maybe would be the Pac 12. If they don't steal a few from the Big 12, how could they expand to 16 in a way that would help them? Boise St's got good football but they wouldn't add much else that I can tell. New Mexico or NMSU geographically make sense as does BSU, as would UNLV or Nevada, but as a whole do they make the Pac better? I wouldn't think so. Adding Oklahoma St, Kansas, one of the Texas schools, and if it was me, I'd finish it out with UNLV. Those add value to the Pac without spreading it out too much geographically, UNLV adds a great city to visit, KU adds bb, Ok St adds fb and bb, it's the Pac so they could probably get the best Texas school whoever that is, adding fb and more.

So now this drops the Big 12 back down to 9, but with blood in the water, surely the ACC will take advantage and add two more schools, but who? They've got ND in all sports but fb and hockey, so do they give ND what they want to get them in fb, too? Who would they take? In my opinion Cincy would be the ACC's top option, after that if not Notre Dame, then maybe Memphis? Iowa St wouldn't be the worst, or WVU, maybe UConn? Two of those would hurt the Big 12. So either the Big 12 is down to 9 or 8 or 7 in this scenario, not good for it surviving as a major Conference.

So this move is definitely going to hurt the AAC, but helps the Big 12 recover some, all while the SEC gains the most. So the shit is rolling uphill. No trickle down here, the opposite, a trickle up effect and I just don't see the Big 12 surviving long term, at least not as a major conference.
 

UVA_Guy81

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I agree they are all good moves, except for maybe UCF? I think UCF would fit better in the ACC as they'll be all alone there in Florida with no conference mates nearby, but yeah, I know, the ACC is already pretty full.

And USF? I personally would like to see them and Georgia Tech join the B1G, which would make room in the ACC for UCF, lol. They'd be close enough to each other to help cut down a little on some of the travel costs that would come from being in the B1G. Both would add big media footprints and just about as much in Research dollars as the B1G could add to the Conf. But since that probably won't happen, GT leaving the ACC I mean, the next option I'd like to add is Boston University, they'd add a nice sized media footprint and decent sized research dollars and something basically no other school available could is a decent hockey program. Biggest problem for BU is getting their football up and running again. Starting them up in cfb from scratch is probably something the B1G won't opt to do. But it's easier to build up a football program from scratch than it is a vibrant research imprint.

But enough about the B1G. It'll be relevant eventually as 4 conferences of 16 each seem like the most likely end game here. and It sounds like this Big 12 expansion thing is basically a done deal, but will it end here? This gets the Big 12 up to 12 finally, but they lost a ton of mojo. I think this is just a temporary bandage. Don't see the Big 12 going down without a fight, but if they don't expand the playoff to 8 teams, one conference is always going to get screwed for sure, and some years it could be two conferences getting screwed and most likely it will be the same conference getting screwed most years, and at this rate, I'd put my money on that conf being the Big 12.

But for the four 16 team conference thing to happen, the biggest maybe would be the Pac 12. If they don't steal a few from the Big 12, how could they expand to 16 in a way that would help them? Boise St's got good football but they wouldn't add much else that I can tell. New Mexico or NMSU geographically make sense as does BSU, as would UNLV or Nevada, but as a whole do they make the Pac better? I wouldn't think so. Adding Oklahoma St, Kansas, one of the Texas schools, and if it was me, I'd finish it out with UNLV. Those add value to the Pac without spreading it out too much geographically, UNLV adds a great city to visit, KU adds bb, Ok St adds fb and bb, it's the Pac so they could probably get the best Texas school whoever that is, adding fb and more.

So now this drops the Big 12 back down to 9, but with blood in the water, surely the ACC will take advantage and add two more schools, but who? They've got ND in all sports but fb and hockey, so do they give ND what they want to get them in fb, too? Who would they take? In my opinion Cincy would be the ACC's top option, after that if not Notre Dame, then maybe Memphis? Iowa St wouldn't be the worst, or WVU, maybe UConn? Two of those would hurt the Big 12. So either the Big 12 is down to 9 or 8 or 7 in this scenario, not good for it surviving as a major Conference.

So this move is definitely going to hurt the AAC, but helps the Big 12 recover some, all while the SEC gains the most. So the shit is rolling uphill. No trickle down here, the opposite, a trickle up effect and I just don't see the Big 12 surviving long term, at least not as a major conference.
West Virginia would be the obvious pick for the ACC. I feel like for the ACC, they won’t think expansion unless Notre Dame joins or is interested in becoming a full member.
 

fredsdeadfriend

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West Virginia would be the obvious pick for the ACC. I feel like for the ACC, they won’t think expansion unless Notre Dame joins or is interested in becoming a full member.
I don't think any conference out there is thinking further expansion. ACC and probably the B1G are both waiting to see what ND decides to do.

Pac's only good options are Big 12 schools, but I don't see them going after anyone yet. Now that the SEC got the 2 biggest fb fish out there and are at 16, they are probably done expanding forever. And now that the Big 12 is at 12 finally, I'm thinking they are done for awhile.

Now we sit back and see what schools left out of the mix do to make themselves worth taking in, and of course we wait to see what ND does.
 
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