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After reading up on it some more yeah its a long shot.
They're essentially a DI-AA team until about 2014. After that, they will still be one of the worst, if not the worst, FBS teams. Also, they aren't, monetarily, on par with the likes of other Big 12 schools.
I believe the Big XII would be a better conference overall if the revenue from television were shared equally. The Missouri Football team would be better long term in the Big XII due to its recent success recruiting Texas. Exposure to Texas is key to continuing Missouri's recent success. I believe Missouri and Nebraska are trying first and foremost to hold the Big XII hostage in terms of money, and I have hopes that the Big XII will ante up and share those revenues in order to continue to succeed. The Missouri market and the St. Louis area are a need geographically for the conference. Nebraska is still a national program that brings eyeballs to TV's from all over the country and would be key to keeping the conference in the national spotlight rather than a regional entity.
I agree, bf_51. Assuming Utah is out of the equation then TCU and BYU make the most sense. If they had to add four teams, I think they could do that as well by taking the two mentioned schools along with Houston and either Air Force, Nevada, UTEP, or Tulsa.
What rationale do you have for any of those schools over SMU or Rice?
Nevada and UTEP are barely a step above community colleges, and both are dirt poor. I can't imagine the four Texas schools wanting to pay the expenses of flying their non-profit teams to Reno twice a year.
I also don't see the service academies ever being a part of big conference football.
Tulsa I could see above Rice or SMU, if they wanted to have 3 Oklahoma schools instead of 7 Texas schools.
Either way, you have the reinvented SWAC, with a few Oklahoma and Kansas schools. It's not great, but it's really the only thing that makes sense short of simply shutting down. The league is basically the Texas and Oklahoma league as it is, it serves to keep those two colleges happy above all else.
The rationale would be success on the football and/or basketball courts of Nevada, Air Force, Tulsa, and UTEP. Admittedly, UTEP is not the best option but they have had some success in basketball over the bast 10 years. SMU and Rice really don't offer any success in either sport with Rice being the only one out of the two that is successful in baseball. Yes, I know SMU beat Nevada in a bowl game this year but in the past ten years the Wolfpack have been much more successful than the Mustangs.
Regardless, outside of Utah, TCU, BYU, and possibly Houston the pickings are considerably slim for the Big XII if they would need to add more than four teams.
I don't think short term athletic success really has anything to do with expansion.
With the Big XII, it's all about the money, as with any conference.
All the schools (with the exception of Baylor) have at least 24-25 thousand students. The only teams that are weak are former Big Eight schools. I think they would look to add a school with either a lot of political power in its alumni base, or one that rakes in a lot of endowment money.
Honestly, there really isnt a school that screams a perfect fit.
I don't think short term athletic success really has anything to do with expansion. The Big Ten isn't looking to add Rutgers because they are good at sports.
I know but, like Brent has pointed out and I'm sure you're well aware, conference expansion is all about money. Rutgers fits the Big 10 because their an excellent research school, a member of the AAU, and would provide access to the NYC market for the Big 10 Network. Athletic success, especially bowl games, are a form of revenue for schools and one of the main reasons for conference expansion. More bowl games = more money.
The advantages that adding SMU or Rice would have is that each school has an endowment that is quite large, both are noted research schools, and both are private universities. Adding either one or both is basically the equivalent of adding another Baylor to the Big XII. I can understand not wanting to pursue Nevada as their endowment is not up to par as any of the other universities that have been mentioned but their success on the football field and basketball court would help bring in money.
I can understand not wanting to pursue Nevada as their endowment is not up to par as any of the other universities that have been mentioned but their success on the football field and basketball court would help bring in money.
A&M has a $6.6 billion endowment; Texas has a $16.1 billion endowment. I don't think Nevada's sports revenue is enough to even consider them. Hell, their endowment is only like $186 million.
The whole key to the equation is the number of eyeballs each team potentially brings to watch FOOTBALL games and whether or not the team expands the viewership base. This all started as the Big 10 saw that they could potentially add the St. Louis, Kansas City, and NYC markets to their league combined with the national appeal of Nebraska and Notre Dame.
The Pac-10 and it's comissioner, Larry Jones, responded in a shrewd and bold move by trying to land two storied programs and four programs with big followings in large markets. Texas is by many accounts the fastest growing state in the union and taking control of it while already controlling California locks up two of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. With the discussed formation of a Pac-10 network, the addition of Texas and company would add hundreds of millions of dollars to the value of that network.
The reason the bottom line is football viewership can best be illustrated by the fact that Kansas has been ignored as a potential expansion target by both conferences. Any basketball league in the country would want the Jayhawks as a part of it. Three National titles and the great tradition dating back to Fog Allen are known across the nation. Not to mention the recent success in football. But the fact is that other than its part of the KC market, Kansas is a sparsely populated state that has limited football viewership numbers.
For the Big XII to survive, it has to do everything in its power to maintain a presence in Texas and Oklahoma. Not to mention trying potentially move into Utah and Nevada, not to mention Colorado. UNLV, Utah, TCU, and Colorado St. would be at the top of my list to try and grab. Boise St. would absolutely be in line as well bet spreads things thin geographically. That way the Big XII would be wider reaching than it is currently and in position steal talent away from both Texas and California.
No matter what happens, it is hard to see the Big XII maintaining its status as an elite BCS conference.
While I don't blame Texas for looking out for it's own interests, I do think their greed and lack regard for the well being of the conference as a whole are what have made teams like Missouri and Nebraska openly listen to overtures from the Big 10. Equal revenue sharing from the TV money (ala the NFL and Big 10) would have helped the entire conference benefit more from the success of Texas and Oklahoma over the past 10 years, in turn I believe giving Nebraska and Missouri no reason to look to the Big 10.