While attending the NCAA Convention here, Bowlsby was asked if his conference would have to be reactive in whatever next form conference realignment takes. In each of the last two offseasons, the Big 12 has had to replace two teams. While no one expects the conference to lose teams -- it has a rock-solid, 13-year grant-of-rights -- the league may have a big decision to make about adding teams.
For 2013, the Big 12 and Big East will be FBS' smallest conferences (10 teams).
“We could be proactive [in conference alignment], I think,” Bowlsby said.
Again as I previously stated expansion will be dependent on
1. How not having a conference championship help or hurt the Big XII for the BCS.
At the moment, Big 12 schools cash TV rights revenue checks for approximately $20 million per year. One industry source said the league could be making as much as $30 million per school in 2014, the first year of the playoff.
2. How much more money having a championship game will bring in.
CBSSports.com also reported that a 12-team Big 12 that played a conference championship game would get only $700,000-$1 million more per school per year. Bowlsby reiterated Wednesday that he supports doing away with an NCAA bylaw that requires conferences to have 12 teams to stage a league championship game.
3. What teams are available for consideration and whether they will add value to the conference. We all know programs like FSU, Clemson, and Miami will bring value but their exit fee with the ACC may not make them available.
The dominoes could start tumbling again if the Big Ten once again raided the ACC. That would create instability that could lead to this scenario: Clemson and Florida State calling the Big 12. At that point the Big 12 would have that decision to make. Stay at 10 or expand to further flyover states for potentially more conference revenue.
But could the Big 12 make a move before it has to make a move? Florida State certainly has seemed willing to listen in the past. Along with Maryland, is the other ACC team that didn't vote for the $50 million exit fee. As of last month the hottest buzz in the industry had the Big Ten targeting Georgia Tech and Virginia.
But this particular bit is interesting.
“That's exactly one of the questions we'll be asking ourselves,” Bowlsby said Wednesday. “Look at Maryland and Rutgers. They don't bring programs that are of the ilk of the others in the Big Ten. The philosophy clearly is: ‘As members of the Big Ten we can grow them.' “
This seems to leave the door open for lesser teams than FSU, Clemson, and Miami to be considered if they could prosper and grow once a member. In many ways both TCU and WVU fit this mold and will be better as members of the Big XII than before. Never the less both teams entered the Big XII with a history of being competitive already. That is why I think USF should be considered. USF has a good mcubed rating of 50.1, which is slightly better than the Big XII average of 51. (BYU is 42.5) More importantly in favor of USF is in one of the top three states for recruitment of college football players (the other being Texas and California).