Hi. You might've heard the Big XII was thinking about expanding, then not thinking about expanding, and now is definitely thinking about expanding. No? You haven't heard? Seriously?
Well, they are, rumor has it. And people have loooooved to talk about it.
Well, let's look at the slate of candidates as SBNation ranked'em:
2. Everyone else.
Oh, you wanted the depth and specificity you're used to out of my "articles." Sorry. Well, then here's how I rank the candidates:
1. BYU: This is a slam dunk. Just do it already, Big XII. The "No play on Sunday" stuff is minor and will barely register come the season.
2. Cincinnati: Giving West Virginia a natural rival and actually pretty decent in both revenue sports, the Bearcats are a natural pair with the Cougars.
3. Houston: Just let it happen, OK? Greg Abbott has weighed in (/nopolitics), but the Cougars are geographically and competitively (assuming Tom Herman doesn't bolt to Baylor) a fit for the middle rung of the Big XII.
4. Memphis: The Big XII gets another rival for Cincy, (almost) solidifies a swath of states from the Southern Plains to Appalachia, and gets that $FedEx. And more $FedEx. And more $FedEx.
5. UConn: I think this is a silly acquisition for the Big XII. They're not a football school, UConn-West Virginia somehow sounds even more unnatural than Iowa State-UConn, and
6. Central Florida: Things apparently can't get much worse in Orlando, and there's those sweet, sweet Florida TV sets. Apparently that might be enough. UCF could somehow go 0-12 and become the friggin' Rutgers of the Big XII. Awesome.
7. South Florida: See: Central Florida, but add an academic scandal! That's fun!
8. Boise State: Yes, the Broncos are decent at football. But that's literally all they bring to the table. Add in travel and its impact on non-revs, and I just don't see it making fiscal sense.
9. Colorado State: Jim McElwain ain't coming back, and Colorado State will soon fade back into obscurity.
Regardless of who the Big XII takes, I'm not concerned in the least bit for the future of the Big Ten. Bill Snyder can claim Nebraska misses the Big XII until he's...well, he's already pretty undead looking, so let's just let that go.
But in terms of TV viewership and the money it brings, there's little the Big XII can do to challenge the Big Ten unless it bites the bullet and courts a Florida team or takes on UConn. And even then, the competitive hit the conference takes is just more cannon fodder for league critics. No one has particularly suggested that this will have any negative impacts on the Big Ten; instead, it shows once again just how far the B1G is in terms of revenue above its counterparts [until unbundling happens, naturally].
And it'll be nice that Iowa State has the chance at a couple conference wins!
It's everyone's favorite part! Tell me where I'm wrong, and why. Who would you take, if you were the Big XII, and how many teams would you stop at? Have a great weekend, y'all.