So far in this EXPANSIONPALOOZA adventure we have debunked South Florida, Memphis, BYU, and UCONN to the Big 12, and now it's time to throw cold water on the idea of Tulane to the Big 12. Now now, I know what you are saying: "There is not a snowball's chance in hell the Big 12 would be incompetent enough to invite Tulane." But remember, this is the conference which used to employ Dan Beebe.
Think back to July 9th, 2013. You've finally got your hands on most recent (and last) NCAA football game (RIP), and you want to start a new dynasty. Since you've been playing the game for ages you decide to give yourself a bit of a challenge. So you start running through the 1-star rated programs, and lo and behold... Tulane pops up. Yes, the same Tulane program which now only three short years later wants to be added to the Big 12. How much partying did Big 12 officials do during Mardi Gras this year? Forget consideration for the Big 12, the real question we should be asking is how these Cajun gator-eaters managed to get an invite to the AAC?
Assuming Big 12 officials are dumb enough to overlook what every college football fan who played NCAA football knows, let's look at the other negatives for Tulane.
I know, I know. "Geography? Tulane is literally right next to Texas (which runs the conference), and they have some great recruiting in Louisiana, plus we can take a chunk out of SEC country." Sure, those statements are all true, but that doesn't change the fact that Tulane is literally smack dab in the center of a ginormous bowl. The school is literally BELOW sea level, and I don't know about you, but I prefer to play/watch sports, party, and tailgate in an area where I don't have to swim to the game. And the smell. Wow. The strange concoction that flows through Bourbon Street after dark is not something I would enjoy while trying to celebrate a K-State victory. Add the bowl and the smell together and New Orleans is basically a cesspool.
Sure it's brand spanking new, but it holds only 30,000 people, and hasn't experienced a sell out since its first game back in 2014. That's 15,000 less than the Big 12's smallest stadiums (TCU's Amon G. Carter and Baylor's McLane Stadium). That's just too small for a Big 12 stadium. I realize the Big 12 has a perception problem by only having 10 teams, but do we really believe adding a school whose stadium only holds 30,000 people will help? I can hear Jim Traber's screaming tirade now. Not literally. That would be weird.
Tulane's overall sports profile just isn't very good. Their basketball team just fired their head coach and have only been to three NCAA tournaments all time. They once cancelled men's basketball altogether because point-shaving and academics don't mix. Their women's sports aren't even close to their fellow conference rival UCONN's (though they do play beach volleyball which I'll begrudingly give you credit for, Tulane). However, K-State doesn't sponsor beach volleyball, and neither does any other Big 12 school. So technically Tulane would be in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, and there goes that credit I gave you for bringing beach volleyball to the Big 12. My bad.
Sorry Tulane, You're Out
Overall, Tulane struggles from a less than desirable position athletically. They simply do not move the needle at all in terms of benefit to the Big 12. Want access to an SEC state? Memphis is a better choice. Want to recruit Louisiana? Bring in Houston, who is approximately 2 hours west of Louisiana. Everyone knows football moves the needle in realignment, and Tulane just doesn't have anything close to a competitive football team (though they do have a better record than KU over the past 5 years, which isn't saying much). So, sorry Tulane, you'll have to live with slumming it down in your bowl near the gulf. Get back to us when the Big 12 is ready to expand from 12 to 14 teams.