DALLAS-The Big 12 is finally ready to look at expanding the conference.
After a Board of Directors meeting Tuesday afternoon, Oklahoma president Dave Boren, chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, asked commissioner Bob Bowlsby to pursue possible expansion candidates.
“We’ve been contacted by a number of institutions, and I would imagine after this news breaks we’ll be contacted again,” Bowlsby said.
“It’s a forward step, a positive step,” Boren added. “Not yet a decision … but it shows momentum on the board to consider [expansion] as a possibility.”
Boren said the expansion could be anywhere from 12 teams to 14. Cincinnati, Memphis, Connecticut, Houston, South Florida, Central Florida, BYU, Boise State and Colorado State are all teams speculated to be among possible candidates.
14-team Big 12 is on the table. BYU, Memphis, Cincinnati, UCF, USF, Colorado State, Houston, UConn, Boise State, others
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) July 19, 2016
Told that the announcement of the ACC network deal pushed several Big 12 schools that were on the fence regarding expansion to back move.
— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) July 19, 2016
“We are looking for members that will grow over time as we grow,” Bowlsby said. “That bring stability. That have a high top end.”
West Virginia University head coach Dana Holgorsen supports the idea of conference expansion.
“It certainly wouldn’t hurt,” he said. “I’m in favor of expansion. I’m on the side of my boss President (Gordon) Gee who is in favor of expansion as well. So, you know, who, that’s not for me to say. There’s a lot of things that go into it that I don’t have the knowledge to be able to discuss.
“I would like to see two teams added. I would like a good, round number of 12. I was in the Big 12 for a long time and we had 12. It makes those divisional breakups easier and it makes trying to get a championship together a little easier as well.”
Adding two or four teams makes it much easier for the Big 12 implementing a championship game.
“I’ve said this for a couple years, the thing I don’t like about not having a championship game is having these games, these regular season games that first week of December,” Holgorsen said. “I think that hurts the teams that are playing from a recruiting perspective and it helps the teams that are playing if it’s a situation where you’re being considered for CFP (College Football Playoff) or a top-tier Bowl game. I just don’t like the format. I think you need to find the best two teams. I got all the confidence in the world with the Big 12 administration, Commissioner Bowlsby and to figure that out.”
Cover Photo Credit: Big12sports.com