The Week that was...
Lots of chatter around the Big 12 about what could happen in terms of expansion, with a lot of schools making last minute campaign pitches.
BYU had Mitt Romney making a sales pitch. East Carolina was saying it could deliver the entire state of North Carolina. UCF and USF said they could give the Big 12 a Big Foot recruiting footprint in the state of Florida, Houston talked about new facilities and a seat at the adult table in the world of Power 5 conference football. Northern Illinois said it was ready to be considered for Prime Time
With the 2016 college football season about to begin, the topic of Big 12 expansion will have to be put on hold...unless.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]
Well, word has it the Big 12 is not ready to announce what it intends to do by Labor Day, but it is ready to move forward with a process which will allow Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to make his recommendations by mid October.
There has been chatter that the Big 12 will consider between 18 and 20 schools. What wasn't said is that the Big 12 will SERIOUSLY consider 6 or 7 schools and those schools will be invited to make in-person presentations.
Originally, the time frame was September for movement and that could still hold up in terms of setting up in-person presentation.
There has been some late speculation that the Big 12 will not do anything. That still seems unlikely. But if there is expansion, it will almost certainly be only two schools.
BYU is the lynch pin to this plan and. although it is barely mentioned, adding BYU as a football only member is still being seriously considered. In fact, the Big 12 might issue football only invitations to both schools.
And then we come to Connecticut. The Huskies athletic future is in a holding pattern. Big 12 full member, Big 12 football only, No Big 12, return to American Athletic Conference in all sports, return to the AAC in football only with membership in the Big East, leave the AAC in football, find another league for football and rejoin the Big East in the other sports, football as an independent, football at the FCS level, drop football.
Then throw in what UConn does or doesn't do and add the University of Massachusetts future in football and beyond and you have more options than an early Republican Presidential Primary.
But one thing seems certain. It will start with a decision by the Big 12 on expanding and it will begin with a decision on BYU.
After that, the dominoes will fall into place.
Let the season begin.
California looked impressive enough in a 51-31 win over Hawaii in Australia to make the Bears a "Watch Out'' game against the other Pac-12 contenders....Hawaii gets to check out of its hotel, stop in Hawaii for a few days to change clothes and then fly to Michigan this weekend for its US Mainland opener against the Wolverines. All of this while classes are being held. And who says the NCAA doesn't care about the welfare of the STUDENT-athlete. With ESPN promoting (with reason) its opening weekend of games, here's a question: How many Top 20 contenders who lose will be out of the national championship race before the end of Labor Day. Well, the Pac-12 could be thinned out if Alabama beats (expected) USC, Texas A&M beats UCLA, and Kansas State beats Stanford.
Lots of questions about starting QBs who still haven't been announced, with the flavor of the day being graduate transfer QBs who will make their debuts at schools OTHER than their alma maters.
For Fun, here's an early prediction of which Power 5 conference teams will be in serious Final Four Playoff discussions in December:
SEC--Alabama, LSU, Tennessse, Pac-12--No one, ACC--Clemson, Florida State, Big 12--Oklahoma, Big Ten--Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame. Add Houston as a possibility from the American Athletic Conference and you have 10 teams for four spots.[/membership]