Blair Kerkhoff

Big 12 expansion is alive again, and here are some candidates to join

The size of Houston’s media market would appear to be a plus for the Big 12.
The size of Houston’s media market would appear to be a plus for the Big 12. AP

Round up the suspects, Big 12 Conference expansion isn’t dead.

The Big 12’s board of directors announced Tuesday that it has authorized commissioner Bob Bowlsby to explore candidates for the possibility of growing the 10-team conference.

The announcement was unexpected. The league gave signals that it was kicking the expansion idea down the road.

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But it’s back, at least in the fact-finding stage, and time to review possible candidates from outside power five conferences, in alphabetical order:

▪ Boise State: Most consistent national football power not in a power five conference

▪ Brigham Young: Best football heritage of any non-power five candidate

▪ Central Florida: Disney World and Florida footprint for Big 12?

▪ Cincinnati: Presence in football-crazy Ohio a plus

▪ Colorado State: Rams open a new football stadium in 2017

▪ Connecticut: Men’s and women’s hoops are the big draws

▪ Houston: Huge market for Big 12 to plant a flag

▪ Memphis: FedEx has vowed to be a conference sponsor

▪ South Florida: Large Tampa-St. Pete market, great stadium

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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