Big 12 Old and New by the Numbers
The Big 12 took a huge hit losing Nebraska, Texas A&M, Colorado, and possibly Missouri. To even get close to where it was it needs 14 teams. The lost is felt across the board in football competitiveness, fan base, money, and AAU.
None of the potential Big 12 candidates individually comes close to a Nebraska, Texas A&M, Colorado, or Missouri. They are all mixed bags.
BYU is a good addition if it happens, as BYU is a competitive program in football and strong in academic endowment though not AAU. BYU though can gain viewers in Utah as well as nationally.
Boise State is competitive athletics but weak in academic. There are few viewers in Idaho but they do have a national presence now.
Cincinnati is a solid pick with decent competitiveness, fans and money (more than BYU). They also bring part of the Ohio market.
Colorado State is decent in competitiveness, fans and money. The Colorado market may be primed for a Big 12 presence after the lost of Colorado. There are many Big 12 fans there who are not Colorado U fans.
Louisville is also decent in football competitiveness, fans, though less money than Cincinnati but more than Colorado State. Louisville is also a decent market for the Big 12 to gain.
New Mexico is a weak competitor, few fans, and little money. They are a neighboring state to the Big 12 though with a decent market in Albuquerque.
Southern Mississippi is a strong competitor and has a decent fan base but little money. The market is small and behind Mississippi and Mississippi State. But Mississippi brings the Big 12 that much closer to Florida, a huge market and recruitment ground for players.
Tulane is a weak competitor, small fan base, but good endowment and AAU. Tulane is also in New Orleans a very good market and destination. The Big 12 can afford a few weak competitor who are good academics and bring new market to the league. The Big 12 already has plenty of competitive programs on the field and may need to replenish its AAU memberships.
West Virginia is a strong competitor, large fan base, and decent money but not a strong academic nor a large market. The market is decent if you include Pittsburgh and Northern Virginia though.
SMU and Houston were not included in the analysis because there are already 4 Texas teams and neither would bring new market share.
Overall I would rate the contenders in the following order.
6. Boise State
7. Southern Mississippi
8. Colorado State
9. New Mexico
BYU and WVU would become matched rivals for cross division annual play. Same with Cincinnati and Louisville (Keg of Nails since 1929). If Tulane replaces Missouri, then Tulane would be matched with Iowa State. All seems like good matches to me.