The conference’s university Presidents met Sunday and Monday in Dallas to discuss potential expansion. Obviously, the title says they decided against it. There were multiple reasons for no expansion the main two were the backlash against the potential addition of BYU because of their stance on social issues and that they stand to make $25 million per school from a television deal. The Presidents deemed that no potential expansion school would add $25 million worth of TV value. Let’s breakdown some of the winners and losers of the decision against expansion.
- Current Big 12 Schools
The current group of 10 is big winners here as they guarantee at least $25 million in TV money and have the opportunity to negotiate for more this summer. Because ya know, they need more. But, money talks in this world and in order to compete with the other “Power 5” conferences you need some big money.
- American Athletic Conference
Wow did they dodge a bullet. The AAC better be sending some nice ass champagne and cigars to those Big 12 presidents. They could have lost Houston and UConn in this potential expansion. Instead, they keep their premier football team and storied basketball program (for now). They also don’t have to go around the Sun Belt or C-USA to steal away a few schools to make up for it and in turn lower their quality of play.
- Big East Conference
Yes, they are a basketball only conference (the best) and they weren’t in line to lose any teams. But, there have been recent rumblings of a re-kindling with an old flame, UConn. The Big East seems open to the idea to add one of the most storied programs in NCAA history, a former member of the conference and one who has rivalries and close to ties to most of the current schools. 11 is an odd number but it keeps the round-robin format around, the Big East may make a move soon.
Houston had a chance (arguably the best of any school) to vault themselves into a Power 5 conference AND keep their budding star Head Coach Tom Herman. Now it looks like neither of those will come true as expansion talk is dead and Herman is almost assuredly leaving in the off-season. This is a punch in the groin and spitting on them on the way down.
What a shitty time to be a Cougars fan (see what I did there?). Both Houston and BYU miss out on a golden opportunity, although I think that BYU still has a good chance in the future to be added as an expansion school to the Big 12 or Pac 12. But back to the present, BYU misses out on leaving the Independent life and having a massively bolstered schedule playing in a Power 5 conference to go along with their annual “Holy War” game.
- UConn Football
The Huskies program has been nothing short of horrendous. They lose, on average, $20 million a year. That’s tax-payer money. Really tough for the Connecticut legislature to justify to the people that elect them. With a potential move to the Big East looking more and more likely, so is the possibility of folding up their dog shit football team. This would be a really tough blow to their 7 devoted football fans.