This morning, we all expected the train that is Big 12 expansion to finally leave the station, possibly bringing with it a couple of new members
Instead, we’re left coughing in a cloud of wasted smoke.
The Big 12 Board of Directors met for six hours today, and again, produced nothing. Richard Johnson of the mothership reports that no new candidates will be added ‘at this time.’
The money men won. Or, at least, that’s how it appears. ESPN and Fox didn’t want new members, even going as far as to say they were willing to pay to make sure it didn’t happen. As per usual in today’s college football landscape, the TV partners got their way.
As many as 17 schools were considered possible candidates to join the conference at one point or another, but apparently none of them danced well enough in their auditions to sway the board to go against the suits.
It’s hard to tell — more teases, more rumors. In all likelihood, the Big 12 will still have only 10 teams when it kicks off the 2017 season — its first with a conference championship since the face of the conference was forever altered in 2010. But that doesn’t mean expansion is entirely out of the question. There’s still eight whole years between now and the end of the current grant of rights. That leaves a lot of time for the landscape to change.
And given the inconsistency of thought day-to-day among the league’s biggest faces, it’s likely that speculation could ramp up again as soon as tomorrow, if a certain university president decides to flap his gums again.
A press conference to make the official announcement is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. after which, we’ll have more.