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Big 12 Must Continue to Push For Expansion

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The Big 12 has not given up on the idea of expansion but the momentum seems to have stalled at the moment. The ACC is trying to compensate for a terrible television deal that was made by including the remaining Pac-12 schools in the deal. 

Will the peace offering help save the ACC and their fragile television contract? That remains to be seen and there is still potential for teams from either conference to be poached away. Despite the Pac 12 and ACC seemingly trying to piece together their paper-thin alliance, the Big 12 must continue a full-court press for expansion. 

 

The Big Ten and SEC will not stop at 16 teams in their conference. These two conferences will continue to push the needle until they have what they deem is an acceptable number of schools to be considered a “super conference.” 20 teams seems to be the number that is being floated around currently. 

The Big Ten feels good about adding UCLA and USC while the SEC feels good about adding Oklahoma and Texas. However, they won’t stop there and the Big 12 needs to continue pursuing relationships and potential additions to the conference while there is a lull among those two conferences. 

The fact of the matter is the Big 12 will likely not be included in super conference discussions if they are limited to only having 12 member schools. Now is not the time to be hesitant or reserved. 

 

Yes, the Big 12 conference is in a bit of a transition period themselves. There is the peaceful transition of power from current Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby to future Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark. That transition will be completed by August 1st and Yormark will take full control at that point. 

There is also the transition of sending Oklahoma and Texas on their way while bringing in BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF. Yormark will have a lot on his plate as he takes full control of the conference, but that can’t be an excuse to not be forward thinking. 

Having BYU, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF in the fold helps strengthen the league in the short-term but they will need to add more teams to make the league more sustainable long-term. Adding Pac 12 schools or even ACC schools would be wise to help strengthen the conference. 

 

We know the Pac-12 schools being targeted, immediately following the exit from UCLA and USC, were Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado. A day later it was reported that the Big 12 could also be interested in Oregon and Washington.

Why wouldn’t Yormark try and dig down into new Big 12 member UCF’s territory and try to sway Florida State and Miami to leave the ACC and join the newly constructed Big 12 conference? Yormark has a history in basketball, maybe he wants to try and get Duke and North Carolina to join the Big 12? Whatever the case may be, Yormark needs to be forward thinking and think outside the box when trying to expand the conference’s reach. 

While Yormark juggles the realignment of how the conference is currently constructed, or about to be constructed, adding more teams for the league in 2024 and beyond would be a wise move. Getting the conference to 16 at the bare minimum would at least get the Big 12 on an even playing field with the Big 10 and SEC as they are currently set up for 2024. 

Yormark needs to make his presence felt immediately after he takes over at the beginning of August. He can’t allow the ACC out-maneuver him and trick the Pac-12 into feeling a faux sense of security. The time to bang on the door and act to add more teams is now.

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