Venerdì, 20 Ottobre, 2017

Big 12 Expansion: Conference Leadership Votes No-Go

Big 12 Expansion Big 12 reportedly decides not to expand 'at this time'
Elettra Stolfi | 29 Ottobre, 2016, 01:22

"We appreciate and respect the Big 12's process for considering expansion and know that this is a decision they have looked at thoroughly", Colorado State University President Tony Frank said Monday.

"Today's Big 12 announcement does not change the fact that we remain committed, competitive and optimistic".

In recent weeks, the conclusion had grown more and more predictable.

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said then that the Big 12 would be looking "for members that will grow over time as we grow".

The meetings were devoted strictly to discussing the idea of expansion in general, and no specific schools were voted on during the discussions, according to Boren. Big 12 schools received annual revenue distribution from the conference of $31.5 million past year, Bowlsby said.

Houston, BYU, UConn, Central Florida and Cincinnati were among the 11 schools being considered by the Big 12. While the Big 12 is "somewhat behind" other leagues now, he said, "we're going to do everything we cannot to have that delta grow". The unanimous decision by the 10 presidents and chancellors was the status quo. "This process has only strengthened our collective resolve that we can compete with the best in class from academics to athletics".

"It's a sign of strength for the conference that so many universities wanted to get involved", Boren said. The Big 12's TV contracts call for ESPN and Fox to increase their payouts to the conference so that any new member would be making what the current members are making, which is about $25 million. What we learned was that the Big 12 should not be taken seriously until it takes both itself seriously and its conference peers seriously.

The Big 12 moved forward to add a conference championship game for football in 2017. Oklahoma and Texas, the league's two most valuable properties, have little reason to do so and, by default, extend the life of the conference. "The American Athletic Conference is a great league and we're very confident about our future in the American". Maybe the league would expand, maybe not.

"It was very thorough and it was aboveboard", Bowlsby said Monday night. "We are committed to each other". That's true now, but words are just words.

The Sooners are better off trying to win football games in the Big 12, than they would be in the SEC.

The Big 12 paid out $30.2 million to each of its members this year, a record amount and third most among Power Five conferences.

"This was endorsing and reinstatement of the 10 we have", Boswlsby said.

Boren said the decision came when those gathered at a round of meetings that began Sunday realized a day later that no one was pushing for expansion. The Big 12 isn't expanding.

Expansion wasn't going to change that, so the Big 12 declined on Monday to add two schools from a group of 11 that included BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and CT.

On the site of the conference championship game, Bowlsby noted that this will most likely be determined in November, and that Arlington, Kansas City and San Antonio are in the running.

He meant it as a self-congratulatory statement, but it could easily be viewed as something else.

The Big 12 has been analyzing expansion options for the last three months, but it has made no commitment to adding to its 10 members and could stand pat. And if the Big 12 is ultimately doomed in the long-term, adding members would have brought a short-term financial windfall, which could help current members who won't find soft landing spots if the conference dissolves.

Boren said the Big 12 takes pride in their national successes and shouldn't feel the need to expand for expansion sake.

"So are our finances always going to be a concern to us?"

"One of the telling things about this process is that the Big 12, in wanting to expand, look at who they were talking to".

But this is the Big 12, folks. Expansion? That's a no, after Monday.

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