Expansion of conferences is not a new thing, but it has been out of control lately. In the early 1990’s two conferences started to get together for “scheduling agreements” between sports and a few years later, they quit the act and became one conference: the Big 12. The brain child of the Big 8 and the Southwest Conference is now having meetings with the ACC for their own version of conversations about some type of future scheduling agreement.
This could get interesting.
As the other big conferences are quickly trying to form groups of 16 the Big 12 is getting left behind as they are clinging to their structure of a ten team conference. As much as I hate the realignments, those that argue the Big 12 should be looking into expansion are probably right. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there right now, and the Big 12 is going to get eaten up if they do not try to defend themselves. The Pac 12 has coveted Texas and Oklahoma for a few years now. Kansas and Kansas State would be attractive to any conference and the ACC and Big 10 have shown they are willing to grab anyone from anywhere. A scheduling agreement was the first step towards expansion in the past, will it be again?
Just like in the early 90’s, times are changing. The administrations that formed the Big 12 saw that then and the administrations in charge now better see that. It might be noble for Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby to say “I’m not comfortable with raiding other conferences.” as he did last week. However his next statement may be more prudent, “But if there are circumstances that indicate that institutions might be looking for an alternative to their circumstance, you have to listen. I don’t think you can do otherwise … There’s a case to be made for getting larger.”