Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Board Chair David Boren announced Tuesday that the Big 12 Board of Directors has unanimously approved a motion that will allow Bowlsby to begin reaching out to potential candidates for conference expansion. This will include schools that have already contacted the Big 12 to show their interest in being candidates.
Big 12 board of directors asked Bob Bowlsby to evaluate interest of schools interested in joining league: "continued interest on expansion"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 19, 2016
This, of course, doesn't mean the Big 12 is going to expand, but it is a critical first step on the journey towards expansion. The next step would be negotiating with 2-4 candidates to see what entry into the conference would look like. That would be followed by formal invitations/acceptances, and lastly by being transitioned into the conference.
Boren, who also serves as OU's President, has long been on the side of expansion for the Big 12, and it seems like the rest of the board is now....on board.They've also provided Bowlsby with a list of factors that would make a school more or less appealing to the conference.
David Boren on Big 12 expansion checklist: Competitiveness, fan base, access to media markets, academics, school reputation. Whole composite— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) July 19, 2016
Based on that list, it doesn't seem like geography will be a factor one way or another. Beyond that, it's basically everything we thought could be on the list. With that in mind, here are some of the schools that could very well find themselveson Bowlsby's call sheet.
- South Florida
- Colorado State
We'll be following this closely as they begin the process, so stay tuned.