If you’ve been following Big 12 expansion at all, then you know the major candidates being considered: BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston, as well as the “other” candidates UConn, Memphis, Tulane, Colorado State, and Central Florida.
The obvious candidates, BYU, Cincinnati, and Houston, all bring unique positive things to the table, which you can read about here and here. The biggest problem, though, is that there are three of them, and seemingly only two spots available in the conference.
Another issue, it appears, is that the two biggest hats in the room are picking favorites.
Source: BYU Big 12's No. 1 overall. Oklahoma wants Cincy. Texas of course wants Houston. Don't be surprised if compromise is Cincy & Houston— Jason Williams (@jwilliamscincy) August 7, 2016
BYU is arguably the best fit (outside of geography) for the Big 12, so leave it to Texas and Oklahoma to find a way to bring in two schools not named BYU.
If Williams’ source is correct, though, it would coincide with what a TCU source told one of our staffers just over a week ago.
But, when it is all said and done, my source believes that simplicity is likely to win out. While some of the bigger solutions may look sexy, the likelihood that eight Big 12 Presidents agree on all the components of a big move is unlikely. As it stands today, Cincinnati is likely the easy 11th member while the debate over the 12th member will center around UCONN and Houston. My source believed, despite reservations, that Houston would win out.
So, it seems like Cincinnati and Houston are the leaders in the clubhouse to become the next two members of the Big 12. This certainly isn’t a death knell to BYU’s chances, but it does seem like there are several big burnt orange and crimson factors working against them at this point.
We’ll keep updating you as we learn more.