Remember when Mitch McConnell made that late push for Louisville to get the final vacancy in the Big 12 almost derailing WVU’s chances of leaving the sinking Big East? Well politics have already reared it’s head again this time around.
Less than 48 hours after news broke stating the Big 12 Board of Directors were recommending the Conference expand; schools and politicians alike are lobbying for inclusion.
Late last night ESPN reported that Big 12 coaches had voted (unofficially) on who they would recommend join the Big 12. Those schools were BYU and Houston. It seems as though Houston is has more support than just Big 12 coaches. Texas governor Gregg Abbott is using his political clout to potentially sway the conference. Abbott went to Twitter on Thursday from his personal account making a very declarative statement;
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 21, 2016
It had been long rumored that Houston would be facing an uphill battle regarding entry into the Big 12. Most of that push back was presumably coming from the University of Texas who was/is against adding any more teams from the state of Texas. Sources have also indicated that Baylor and TCU have been against Houston’s inclusion into the conference although they would follow the Longhorns lead.
This was a power move on behalf of Abbott who is said to have political ties to Houston. Whether or not Abbott’s tweet will play a roll in the conference’s decision process is yet to be known. The University of Houston is preparing to make a formal pitch to the Big 12 conference within the next few weeks. Eight of the ten current Big 12 members would have to vote in favor of a school before it could be officially invited.