Big 12 Considers Expansion, American Worried About Losses

Presidents in the Big 12 conference will consider over the upcoming weeks if the league should grow. That has left the American Athletic Conference worried about the possibility of losing one or more schools to defections.

Mike Aresco the Commissioner of the ACC said the conference has contingencies that might come into play.

He added that there was no secret realignment could take place and that was discussed with members of the AAC as they try to focus on have cohesion within the conference.

Aresco said the conference asked that the conference’s membership be respected.

Athletic directors in the Big 12 have held meetings this week in Phoenix. The conference of 10 teams is continuing to consider if adding two additional members, splitting into divisions and playing a game at the end of the season for the conference championship will help increase both the league’s revenue and chances of placing one of its members in the College Football Playoff.

Neither of the Big 12 co-champions – Baylor or TCU – was in the 2014 playoff, but Oklahoma its league champion in 2015 did reach the national semifinals.

Bob Bowlsby the Commissioner of the Big 12 said during the meetings that research was presented to the members of the conference that indicated switching to a 12-team conference, two divisions, with 8 conference games and a championship game, would give the Big 12 close to 4% more of a chance of having a team in the CFP.

In the end, the decision is to be made amongst the conference presidents with plenty of help coming from the different athletic directors as well as Bowlsby.

The next meeting of the Big 12 will begin May 31 and include the presidents and the chancellors of the universities.

There are no matches that pop off the paper for the conference, if it makes a decision to expand, but most of the better candidates are in the American Athletic Conference.

Schools such as Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Central Florida, Connecticut or South Florida can claim they bring in new markets for television, growing athletic programs and for some even both to the conference.

While at the same time, the officials from each of those schools continues to publicly pledge their allegiance to the AAC, behind the scenes they have positioned themselves for promotion into one of the Power Five conferences.

BYU is currently one of the few independents left in college football and another possibility to join the Big 12. Boise State is a strong member of the Mountain West Conference and could make a claim to bring strong football to the Big 12.