If you were to drop someone from another planet into America and try to explain to them conference names in college football, how long do you think it would take you?
At least the Pac-12 changed its name from the Pac-10 when it expanded a decade ago. Obviously, the Big Ten and the Big 12 are a different story. You’d have to help them figure out how the Big Ten has had 14 teams for a decade and is soon to grow to 16 teams and is unlikely to change its name. Meantime, the Big 12 has been 10 teams for a decade and is soon to grow to 14 teams, then back to 12, while also not changing its name. Oh, and it could soon expand to 16 or 18 teams, without a name change either.
This individual would undoubtedly look at you like you had three heads. Understandably so.
However, with all the new Big 12 expansion chatter following USC and UCLA departing for the Big Ten, there is a way for the Big 12 to add six teams from the Pac-12, to get to 18 total teams, and still justify being called the Big 12 Conference.
If the Big 12 were to add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Oregon, the Big 12 would then be represented in 12 states, justifying the Big 12 name.
Those 12 states would be: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Oregon.
Here’s a look at what the map would look like.
So if nothing else, for those of us who are college football purists, this would allow the Big 12 to justify its name as The Big 12 Conference, as it would represent 12 states.
But more importantly, it would solidify the Big 12 as the third of the super conferences behind the SEC and Big Ten, which is ultimately what matters here.