With only 10 teams and no conference championship game, the Big 12 would like to expand. But wanting to expand and actually expanding are two different things.
Will the Big 12 expand, and if it does, which two schools would join the conference?
“My take is it’s not going to happen,” CBS Sports college football writer Ben Kercheval said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s the same story that kind of gets recycled every offseason, and we do it because it’s May. We do it because it’s June and you got to have something to talk about. And also, what doesn’t doesn’t help is everybody speaks out of turn in the Big 12. David Boren, president of Oklahoma, comes out every other week and has, not necessarily a new stance on Big 12 expansion, but definitely he kind of brings it back to the front burner – and it doesn’t help when you have someone else from Oklahoma saying, ‘Well, we’re not really sure if expansion is the best idea.’ So no one ever seems like they’re on the same page and you’ve got this radio silence from Texas. Bob Bowlsby is trying to be a figure head in this whole thing as the conference commissioner, but it’s not working particularly well. So part of it is that the Big 12 just does a really good job of falling into its own man hole on this whole thing. So I don’t figure it will happen.”
Simply adding a conference championship game would supposedly increase the Big 12’s playoff odds by four to five percent, while expanding to 12 teams could increase it by 10 or 15 percent.
Kercheval isn’t so sure about those claims.
“I don’t know who you can come up with that number when the College Football Playoff is a subjective process,” he said. “So I think that’s some fuzzy math there. I think that’s off the table.”
Financially, adding two teams would help the conference, but it would also create some potential problems.
“There’s been a lot of talk about UConn and BYU being the schools you want to add if you want to create a conference network,” Kercheval said. “Well, one, you have to get Texas to agree to that because they have the Longhorn Network, so you got to make sure they’re still getting their cut of their money. And then right now with cable and streaming media being what it is, is right now a good time to invest in a cable company at a third-tier level? I would say no. So I don’t doubt that the Big 12 is stuck between a rock and a hard place, but I don’t know that they make any moves this year.”