But who knows what they’ll do beyond that.
Interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas said Saturday the conference has no plans to expand further prior to next season, although that doesn’t mean a move back to 12 teams couldn’t happen eventually.
Leaders of the conference’s schools have been divided over whether the league is best with 10 schools, where it settled after losing Nebraska and Colorado prior to this season, or finding a way to expand back to 12.
With Texas A&M and possibly Missouri headed to the SEC, the Big 12 has added West Virginia and TCU this year in an attempt to stabilize.
“We’ve got to get our house in order. We’re pretty good with 10 or, if Missouri stays, 11,” Neinas said Saturday after helping with the unveiling of a statue of formers Sooners coach Barry Switzer across the street from Owen Field.
“We’ll be very strong and solidified and then once you get that, you do your homework first and everything else takes care of itself.”
Neinas said the Big 12′s expansion committee hasn’t met since deciding last week to add West Virginia instead of Big East rival Louisville.
“The expansion committee will continue to look at the landscape of college athletics and at some point will make a determination what they feel is the best size for the conference,” Neinas said.
There are two reasons why I believe the Big XII will fill itself back out to XII members again. One is scheduling. With X members, you either have nine conference games, meaning you have one less chance to schedule a cupcake at home and some teams playing more conference home games than others, or you play eight conference games, thus ensuring that everyone plays a different schedule and potentially courting controversy if top contenders don’t play each other. The other is the original reason why so many conferences were interested in expanding to XII members in the first place, which is that with XII members you get to have different divisions and a conference championship game, which is a big moneymaker. I can see the Big XII waiting to see how some things shake out before expanding, but I can’t see any reason why they’d be satisfied with X members for the long term.
However, they may need to be concerned about the short term now, too.
The Southeastern Conference finally made one of the worst-kept secrets in recent college history official Sunday morning by inviting Missouri as its 14th conference member.
The Tigers will begin participating in all sports starting with the fall of 2012.
The announcement leaves the Big 12 in a potential quandary. The conference must have at least 10 members in order to fulfill the perimeters of its contracts with media partners ABC/ESPN and Fox.
West Virginia has been announced as the Big 12’s 10th member and the Mountaineers have told the Big 12 they would be available in 2012. The school sued the Big East last week, seeking to declare the conference’s bylaws invalid. It claims the conference breached its fiduciary duty to West Virginia by failing to maintain a balance between football-playing and non-football members.
The Big East then filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against West Virginia on Friday in Rhode Island Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages along with an order requiring West Virginia to stay put for 27 months in compliance with Big East bylaws.
Missouri could face a similar difficulty to begin play in the SEC by 2012. The Big 12, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, could demand that Missouri stays if it can’t get West Virginia in place for next season.
I’m thinking that Louisville is back in play now. Anyone got Mitch McConnell’s phone number?