Expansion could bring back Big 12’s glory days

After a missed three point attempt, Jordan Henriquez rebounds the ball to get the Wildcats two more points against Texas A&M. The Cats won the Feb. 4, 2012 game 64-53. (File Photo by Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

After K-State’s spring football game on April 25, the off-season for the Wildcats and the Big 12 conference finally started to quiet down. That silence remained pretty much intact until June 24, when University of Oklahoma President David Boren made some heavy statements about the 21-year-old conference.

“I like being 12 rather than 10,” Boren said. “I like that as long-range stability for the conference.”

With his statement, the firecrackers of the Big 12 started to make some noise as many began to question whether or not the Big 12 should expand.

With the Big 12 being the only power conference with less than 12 teams in the NCAA, it would benefit largely by inviting two (or more) teams to compete in one of the most competitive conferences in the country.

If the Big 12 did expand, it would provide major benefits for the conference and each of its schools.

Big 12 championship game

NCAA rules do not allow for a conference with less than 12 teams to hold its own conference championship game for football.

TCU was ranked third in the country and the team’s resume showed that the Horned Frogs were deserving of one of the four playoff spots. There was only one thing missing … they had not played in a conference championship.

Had TCU played Baylor for the conference championship and won, without question they would have been the final team picked for the College Football Playoff, being that the Horned Frogs were ranked higher than Ohio State who got the bid instead.

If the conference decided to expand, then the Big 12 championship could be brought back. Teams could be reunited with old division rivalries and it would make the conference games more intense.

Adding at least two teams would put this issue to rest and would make Big 12 football even more exciting.

Media attention

The Big 12 already gets a huge boost from its television partners at Fox and ABC. Ratings, however, can be higher.

During the 2014 football season, Fox or ABC broadcasted 17 games on its national networks. The competitiveness the Big 12 would get because of the expansion would make the public want to tune into a Big 12 conference game on national TV, thus increasing media attention for the universities and the conference.


Let’s be real here, nobody likes a wipeout in college football. Fans live, breathe and die competitive football.

The Big 12 is already competitive, but the conference could always bring in schools that can compete consistently within the conference and the national stage.

If the conference brought in two programs that have quality athletic programs, it would allow for an unpredictable season for each year, making the anticipation and excitement greater than ever before.

Football programs like the ones at Connecticut, Cincinnati or Houston may not win conference titles or compete at the bowl stage, but they could compete with some of the top dogs in the conference and potentially knock them off the pedestal. Teams that achieve victory over the powerhouse programs bring excitement to college football.

Obviously the Big 12 may or may not see an expansion for the coming years, and it might take awhile for the conference to come to a conclusion on the subject. But, for what the conference and the schools are trying to achieve, an expansion would bring the glory days back to the Big 12.

Grant Cohen is a freshman in mass communications.