Today’s news is almost entirely related to the only topic anyone’s discussed at all this week, but first some tragic news. Tyrek Coger, a JUCO transfer who chose Oklahoma State over K-State earlier this summer, died last night after a workout. We’ll leave it to Cade Webb at Cowboys Ride for Free to offer the eulogy; it’s a good one. Our thoughts are with the OSU family, who — as noted by your Despot Emeritus TB — have probably suffered more tragedy over the last two decades than any school should be reasonably expected to bear.
BracketCat’s countdown checks in with #43, Drew Scott.
In news on the home front, Blake Hickey will never play a down for the Wildcats. The Star’s Kellis Robinett reports that the three-star offensive line recruit has left K-State and will enroll at TCU. He’s going to lose a year of eligibility in the process and won’t be able to set foot on a field now until 2018, so it’s hard to understand why he’s doing it.
And now: EXPANSIONPALOOZA, in bullet form:
- ESPN’s Jake Trotter runs down the candidates, and he has legitimized the UCLA discussion by including them.
- Miles Blumhardt at the Coloradan, citing ESPN, laments the fact that Big 12 coaches mostly ignored Colorado State when asked about their top candidates. The Rams did get one vote, though, which is one more than UConn and Boise and South Florida got.
- In another article, Blumhardt reports that Colorado State would gladly accept a phase-in deal. Obviously, every potential expansion candidate would, but CSU is openly stating it.
- Marc Tracy at the New York Times has an in-depth New York Timesy report on the Big 12’s decision to maybe make a decision. John Currie is quoted.
- Brett Strehlow of the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reports that East Carolina wants in on this party, and asks the question nobody is asking: How would ECU basketball fare in the Big 12?
- Finally, there were two actual pieces of expansion news yesterday. First, Texas governor Greg Abbott got a little full of himself. Apparently, he thinks he can dictate what the Big 12 is going to do despite the fact that he has zero control over eight of the ten votes on the board. His demand?
- The other news is that there’s a twist to all this; apparently, Texas is trying to open a branch campus in Houston, and Houston is fighting against this. And that’s where the following tweet becomes very interesting:
As we look at opportunities for Big 12 expansion, I support considering @UHouston for the conference. UH is a huge asset for Texas.— Greg Fenves (@gregfenves) July 21, 2016
You can see the money changing hands already, can’t you?
The more interesting thing here, however, is that it’s an official statement from the University of Texas that they are on board with expanding the league, even if they have to get their candidate in the door in order to support it. This was actually an open question on Tuesday, with multiple Twitterati insisting that they didn’t believe expansion was a serious possibility until they heard it from Texas.
Well, there it is.