Bob Stoops NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 10 : Head Coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners claps during a timeout during the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks September 10, 2016 at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Warhawks 59-17. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) *** local caption *** Bob Stoops;

The Big 12 courted interested parties. It held an open house for any school with a slight interest in joining the Big 12. It had plenty of candidates looking to receive a rose from the Big 12 offices. In the end, the conference has decided expansion just is not in the cards and will stand pat with 10 members as currently constructed.

Over the weekend, there were suggestions the Big 12 was leaning toward not expanding, but on Monday the reports became more official as a meeting of Big 12 university presidents ended quickly. A quick meeting likely meant no new members would be added to the conference, yet fans of schools like BYU and UConn and Cincinnati and Houston were probably fair to hold out hope anyway. The Big 12 is funny that way.

But then Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported there would be no expansion. So did Jim Trotter of ESPN. And Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman. There were more too. Big 12 expansion is no longer on the table.

The university presidents did spend time voting on prospective members on Monday, but none of the schools up for nomination managed to receive enough votes of support from the presidents, thus denying them a chance to join the conference. What schools were voted on remains unconfirmed, but it likely included popular candidates like Houston, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Connecticut, UCF, and USF. Five hours later, the presidents left to return to their respective universities, with no invites to send out.

This may seem like the final chapter in this ongoing saga, but there is no way this subject is ever retired on a permanent basis. For now, the Big 12 will be satisfied with a potential increase in television revenue from ESPN and FOX, which is believed to have been offered in exchange for not expanding (which would open the door for a brand new TV deal that would cost the networks more money).

But the contracts have expiration dates, so it may only be a matter of time before the idea pops up again about expanding the conference. Right now, the Big 12 contracts expire in 2025. That gives current Big 12 members time to figure things out and get on the same page, arrange for their alternate plans should the conference implode, and for prospective Big 12 members to build themselves up and make it more difficult to not receive the votes they so desperately want from the Big 12.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.

Comments are closed.