Ranking Best Teams to Target if Big 12 Decides to Expand

Originally published at: https://pistolsfiringblog.com/ranking-best-teams-to-target-if-big-12-decides-to-expand/

From Boise to UCF and all the other teams in between.

SMU should be taking off the board. It doesn’t make any sense adding a small private school in the DFW area. We already have that in TCU.
Another reason for adding for Memphis could be sponsorship. When the Big 12 was considering expansion last time, FedEx offered to sponsor a Big 12 championship game and other incentives to bolster their bid. Perhaps they would be still willing to do that. The extra money would be nice.


Nice summary. I’d expand to 16, take bsu, BYU, uh, SMU, Cincinnati, Memphis, UCF, and USF.

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My opinion is the Big12 should expand to these 4 schools.

  1. Houston because that market is very heavily SEC focused.
    2&3. BYU and Boise state. These are included together because going after them would be the same reason of getting market share farther west and applying some pressure on the PAC 12.
  2. Cincinnati because I think that would also expand into another market and take market share from Big 10 as well as getting some competition closer to West Virginia

I really don’t think the map matters as far as where the Big 12 expands, I really think that they should be going on the defensive and expanding into markets that would put pressure on the “alliance.”. I think if the big 12 wants to stay relevant and competitive they need to play dirty and go after some market share.

I would flip Memphis and Cincinnati for no other reason than the Bearcats and Mountaineers are fairly close and would be great rivals.

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Agree with SMU comment. Makes no sense.


Until the money drives the NCAA out of the picture I do like a 16 team Big 12. For those that lament the quality of some programs to move the needle let us not forget that old Big 8 & SWC teams got much stronger after a couple of years of Big 12 money. I think the money and exposure could make the new programs much stronger in 5-10 years like oSu, KSU, and Baylor in the Big 12. I also like the feel of giving a helping hand to programs on the outside looking verses being a market grab in the PAC 12 or BIG.

Old Big East

Old Big 8


Old MWC (Pick 4 - * my 4)
BYU* (Mormon market)
UNLV* (Vegas market/ wealthy alumni/ growth potential)
Nevada* (solid all around program / potential growth)
Boise State (blue turf / national reputation)
Air Force (military viewership)
Colorado State (growth potential/ Colorado TV market)
Hawaii (who doesn’t want to go and market starved for quality opponents to grow program)
Fresno State* (growth potential / CA market & recruiting)

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Sounds like I’m in the minority but I would take boise off the board and keep SMU. Unless the tv people are willing to pay more for Boise than what I think it doesn’t make sense to me, they are competitive in football I’m not taking that away from them but In all other sports they’re not very good, they have small stadium/enrollment, Idaho isn’t a very populated state, and academically they’re not the strongest. To me the case for SMU is that they have some serious money and lately they’ve been picking a few bigger recruits and with NIL in the works they could be on the upswing. Last point, if we do take Boise and all of these 7 schools that’s 15 in the conference, maybe we pick up USF or another school to make an even 16? Maybe it doesn’t matter but seems like most conferences want even numbers on each side of the conference.

Would TCU be in the old SWC?

It is moronic to talk about TV markets. Regional broadcasts are a thing of the past. The only number that matters is how many people are tuning into each school’s games. It doesn’t matter if those people are in NYC or rural Texas.

I agree with the top two but SMU is underrated IMO. We need to think about what is best for the average fan. I love the idea of getting a second game in the DFW area. That is an easy drive for me and SMU has a fun campus with a great tailgating scene. We would have 10,000 fans in orange there every time we played. KSU, BU, TCU, and Tech would also travel well there. It is also a recruiting and alumni hotbed for us. We need to prioritize the consumer and the money and TV stuff will take care of itself.

There is absolutely nothing fun about a conference made up of random teams stretching across the country with absolutely nothing in common other than desperation. That conference will steadily bleed fan/alumni support until it is irrelevant. Let’s prioritize the average fan, put some regional rivalries together, and try to dominate that region.

I don’t know a single person who went to Memphis or Cincinnati. Neither are easily drivable nor are they especially tradition rich programs. SMU hasn’t been the same since the death penalty, but they have every natural advantage that Baylor or TCU has, just without the platform of a strong conference.

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Yes. I missed that one. Should have been TCU in lieu of SMU.

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The BIG TV Network begs to differ. They are making money because people in that region will watch games of teams they know. They aren’t the biggest pay day because the BIG is the best conference. BIG didn’t add great teams, but they did add households. I am sure the BIG viewership is up in the east coast since Rutgers and Maryland joined.

You can throw ND into that conversation as well. They are not valuable because of the product on the field. The product on the field has fallen IMO because more teams, like oSu, got more money to spend on making their programs better.

I think plenty of people around the country will watch more oSu sports if they play teams annually from that region. We can certainly agree to disagree.

I like most of it. I’m just not big on the two Nevada schools. I’m sure u could get great deals in reno and Las Vegas lol. Byu Fresno boise San Diego.
And drop Memphis for usf.

San Diego State would be in my top 5.

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Notre Dame is attractive from a TV perspective because a ton of people watch ND games, not because they are located in any particular region. With the exception of BYU, none of the teams mentioned being much TV viewership. Whatever difference there is between the number of people watching a Memphis/Cincinnati game and the number of people watching an SMU game is negligible.

Just my perspective (and I’m only one fan), but I am already losing interest in OSU football. Stocking our schedule with a bunch of random commuter schools across all four time zones will push me away even more. From a fan perspective, I want to be able to drive to away games, tailgate with people who talk and eat like me, and banter with alumni of opposing schools at work. What I don’t want to do is hop on a two-leg, five hour flight to a glorified community college in a rust belt city with lousy chili, just to watch us lose in overtime LOL.

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I think we are missing an important factor here. If you take a team like UCF or Cincinnati and add them to a power conference where suddenly they have a real shot at the playoff, doesn’t that give those cities and alumni some added excitement about tuning in to watch their school play against the Cowboys, or pulverize the Jayhawks? Doesn’t that make the Notre Dame fan who already watched his game want to see if UCF or Boise State can compete every week in a bigger conference? Its just a thought.

My wife has family in Lafayette, LA and most of the people down there went to ULL but on Saturday they tune in to watch LSU because ULL isn’t playing for anything. If ULL were to be in a Power 5 conference, you can bet they’d all be watching, even if ULL wasn’t exceptionally good. I assume the same is true for the others.


Lot’s of ideas. at this point, I will say expansion is necessary. If we don’t get a package soon for an additional 4 or more teams the Big 12 will fold. BYU, Houston, Cincinnati and Memphis seem like good choices. I would love to have UCF as well but I think they would like to be in the ACC. Not to high on SMU.

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I think some people are assuming that BYU, Cincinnati & UCF would just automatically be willing to jump into the Big 12. I don’t see it. The biggest reason being that everyone knows the remaining schools are trying to exit as we speak.

The big problem with the acc is they hired a commissioner worst then ours. Acc tv deal is up in 35’
Espn will not move with schools like wv, Cincinnati and ucf. If noter dame opens up then yes.
So schools like cincy have to believe they can move up through the big12.

ND gets Catholics nationally. BYU gets Mormons nationally. The media pumps up ND and downplays BYU. I don’t remember TV analysts saying BYU would make this kind of money as an independent.

As a fan, I went to Norman once and that was enough despite winning and watching RW McQuarters make Sooner fans leave early. I also had a great time at the Rose Bowl when oSu beat UCLA to open the year. 2 away games in 20 years. Just making home games was plenty for me.

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