Big 12 To Hold At 10 Teams

Following the conclusion of its Board of Directors meeting on Monday, October 17, the Big 12 Conference will hold a press conference/teleconference at 5:30 pm CT with Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and the chair of the Board of Directors - University of Oklahoma President David Boren.

The Big 12 has stood at the edge of conference expansion for months, but league officials reportedly have decided not to add any new members.

The idea of expansion dates back to past year, when Oklahoma president David Boren expressed that the 10-member league was "psychologically disadvantaged" in the College Football Playoff era compared to other Power Five conferences.

The push for expansion began in 2014 after the Big 12 found itself left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff semifinals despite having one-loss teams in Baylor and TCU available. "Adding a school like BYU to your membership while it still champions anti-LGBT policies and practices would greatly undermine these Big 12 values". The conference would benefit, the new additions to the Big 12 would benefit, and the fans would benefit.

The primary options: Expand by two schools, expand by two schools in football only (BYU and Houston being the most likely candidates), expand by four schools, maintain the status quo or - dear God - kick the can down the road for a decision later.

"We don't think expansion in the Big 12 is a good idea for the conference".

In recent years, the Big Ten poached Nebraska from the Big 12 and Missouri and Texas A&M joined the Southeastern Conference. Bottom line: expect the unexpected as the conference has proved time and time again they are unclear about the direction of the league. 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 Big 12 is nothing if not unpredictable. Houston has already done well enough at the Group of Five level, but joining the Big 12 could have really helped Houston chase recruits it previously couldn't go after.

There were 11 total schools in the expansion process. With 10 teams it becomes harder for the league to create a format that doesn't devalue the worth of a title game in the final weekend.

Asking ESPN and FOX for money television money is a bit unusual, but understandable. A press conference is still scheduled for 5:30 CST but it's anyone's guess as to what of outcome will be said at the press conference.

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