Big 12 Could Decide on Expansion (and More) By This Summer


Earlier this month, the Big 12 Conference's leadership met with major decisions on the table and decided against taking any action.

In a piece published shortly after the meetings were over, ESPN's Jake Trotter indicated the Big 12 essentially decided to do nothing, though they agreed to be united in whatever major changes they do adopt, if or when that happens. The Big 12 no longer has to expand to have a conference championship football game, though they are apparently weighing expansion nonetheless.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has been the most outspoken about the Big 12 changing its ways to stay competitive not just on the football field, but financially with the other four Power Conferences. He recently told The Oklahoman such a change could come by the summer.

"We're in a fact-finding mode, we're in a data-gathering mode," Boren said. "In other words, what will it mean to the stability of the conference? What will it mean financially to the conference?

"We've sort of said to ourselves, come this summer, we're going to have to finally make a decision about what we do. We cannot indefinitely postpone decisions. That's what I had gotten frustrated about. I thought we were spinning our wheels."

Not only has expansion been thrown around a lot as a possibility for the Big 12, but not it seems to be taking shape. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported obtaining email correspondence between Boren and the University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono about UC joining the Big 12. Ono has never hidden his interest in joining a Power Conference, and the emails indicated Boren strongly believes Ono will not hesitate to accept the Big 12's invitation.

In his interview with The Oklahoman, Boren indicated there are "three reforms" the Big 12 is seriously considering. In addition to expansion, those are believed to be establishing a Big 12 Network (thus cancelling the Longhorn Network) and implementing a football championship game.

Any one of these can happen on its own, but the far more intriguing scenario would be If the notoriously static Big 12 adopted all three.

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