Split feelings on Big 12 Expansion

By Ryan Decker

Expansion in the Big 12 has been nearly as prevalent in the national conversation surrounding the conference this season as the play on the field itself has been.

In fact, you can make the argument that if it were not for the undefeated starts by Baylor and West Virginia, the biggest talking point regarding the Big 12 would be whether or not the conference will expand.

After months of speculation, football fans are expecting to get their answer Monday.

Big 12 Expansion map.jpg
A look at what the Big 12 could look like depending on what schools – if any – get added on Monday.   Original graphic created by Joshua Friemel / The Dallas Morning News

October 17 has been the day picked by the leaders in the conference to give the general public the answer to the question, will the Big 12 grow or not?

The mixture of who to add, or if to add teams at all, of fan perspectives has been documented. I wrote on the subject of expansion last month, exactly 31 days out from the conference’s planned decision date.

Feelings about the subject then were about as up and down, hot and cold, as they are now.

This question even prompted one Oklahoma State fan to voice his opinion back to me.

It’s not just feelings of the fans that are mixed. Board of Directors and other influential members of the Big 12 have also expressed mixed feelings in recent weeks.

Those mixed feelings have led many to believe that expansion won’t happen, for now at least.

Although these things can become unpredictable, one CBS Sports writer said he was told to be ready for anything when the decision is being handed down.

Schools hoping to get into the Big 12 will need eight votes from the Board of Directors in order to gain membership to the conference.

Even though 18 original teams – and 11 finalists – have been discussed, and will be combed over during meetings on Monday, you can easily argue that the conference would be left with egg on its face to do all that work and not expand. There’s always the chance, though, that Commissioner Bob Bowlsby could simply just announce that the decision for expansion will be delayed until the winter or even sometime next year.

Not to sound redundant of what was said in Dodd’s tweet, but be ready for absolutely anything when the press conference begins.

The Big 12 Board of Directors has a press conference scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT (6:30 ET) where they will give the decision on expansion.


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