Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Big 12 To Expand Back to 12 By Summer's End

Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby is apparently diving right into the deep end of the conference expansion pool. I was told that “back channel” contact is currently taking place with five high major schools, with regards to joining the Big 12 conference. These lines of communication have been opened with Clemson, Maryland, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Notre Dame.


It is anticipated that two of those five will join before summer’s end, two of those five will be invited to join the Big 12. (There is also an outside chance that a combination of Brigham Young for football, with Notre Dame in all other sports could be combined with one of the other four schools. But it’s definitely an outside chance.) Initial contact has been made with all of the schools, and none of the five have closed the door on the possibility. Georgia Tech is a bit lukewarm, based upon the relative academic reputations of the ACC and the Big 12.

Notre Dame is reportedly talking to the ACC as well, but has qualms about going that route, given the revenue disparity between the ACC’s new ESPN deal and the one the Big 12 agreed to with ESPN/Fox. The Big 12′s deal offers $20 million annually per team, with escalators that could raise that figure to as much as $23-25 million, should the Big 12 find attractive expansion candidates. Meanwhile, the ACC’s deal is not only for less annual money, at “only” $17 million per team, but includes all three tiers of television rights, meaning that a school like Notre Dame would be deprived of a potentially lucrative revenue stream that their third-tier rights would provide.

The other schools–Atlantic Coast Conference members all–have expressed unqualified interest in continuing the discussion of switching conferences. Asked to rank the expansion candidates, the person I talked to placed them in the following order, based on a combination of the school’s interest in joining the conference, and the conference’s interest in having them:

1) Clemson
2) Florida State
3) Maryland
4) Notre Dame*
5) Georgia Tech
[Ed.: Fixed a mixup of FSU and Maryland. Maryland was listed 3rd.]

*=Reportedly, if the Big 12 was to warm up to a ND/BYU combination, that would jump up the list considerably. At this point, however, Big 12 officials are more interested in using the leverage of the new 4-team playoff to force Notre Dame out of their comfort zone of football independence.

It would appear that we are now headed into another summer of realignment. But with an aggressive new commissioner in the driver’s seat, the Big 12 appears ready to be driving the bus this time, instead of just desperately trying to get out of the way.

Tags: Big 12 Big XII Bob Bowlsby Clemson Conference Realignment Expansion Florida State Georgia Tech Maryland Notre Dame Realignment

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      • Maxine

        but seriously Williams is a SR loinokg like he went thru the Glen Cook training regimen. This made me lol.Me, I like paying for things I enjoy. Rather than not paying for things I can’t stand.Just me tho.Said my goodbyes to the A6. On to bigger and better things.My buddy has a CL 550 and this is all that and then some and probably saved 10K.Popped in to the dealership to run some numbers at 2pm and left with a new ride at 6. I don’t fuk around when I see something I like.I just couldn’t believe they had the exact same color combo and options I was loinokg for ready to go. 1 in a million.I have a wedding in Maine to go to in a couple weeks. I’m gonna turn this bish out on the 8 hour ride.CC LOL by a new set of front loaders and you will wonder how you lived without them.Mine friggin sing a song to you when they are done rather that that old ass buzzer.LOL!!GO CANEZ!!!!!

      • Abdallha

        Spence let his nutz hang his true fresh year ..B Harris held the kid from FSU’s pocket his fresh year ..And I aoedrd B Harris.I think those two things cancel each other out.Spence’s down year was better than Cook, Adkins, Romeo Davis, Vegas Franklin, Sharpton, Leon and Willie Williams’ best years.He’s been better than Rocky-Mac and C-Mac and in my opinion, has been on par with Jon Beason while Beason was here.

  • mondy

    we got Kinnard’s 6’4 self coming in at LB. but he also lkeood the least impressive of the LBs. but seriously Williams is a SR looking like he went thru the Glen Cook training regimen. Scott looks confident. Dorsett looks a lil scared. Paul looks a lil off. Williams looks like taylor cook. and Smith looks about how you want a NT while posing for a picture. so based off my new scouting method of seeing how guys throw up the U in pictures .Scott will be the best of the bunch unless Smith out does him.

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