The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Big XII Expansion Thoughts

The folk over at Frank the Tank are having fun talking about Big XII expansion scenarios.  Assuming that the Big XII wants to add two schools… and cannot steal from the ACC, SEC, B1G, or Pac-12, where does the Big XII go?  Frank the Tank lists them in order as Cincinnati, BYU, San Diego State, Central Florida, South Florida, and then Tulane.  The question for ACC fans.  Which would we like to see?  Which would we hate to see?

The option that would be most troubling for ACC fans would be a Big XII move to take South Florida and Central Florida.  The Confidential thinks this is a complete no-brainer for the Big XII.  South Florida is in Tampa.  Central Florida is in Orlando.  These are major metropolitan areas.  They are in talent-rich Florida.  It would give the Big XII schools guaranteed exposure in Texas and Florida.  Envision these divisions:

East: South Florida, West Virginia, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State

West: Central Florida, Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma

Everyone would get 2 Texas games and 1 Florida opponent.  The East is a little weak, but isn’t that a better way to divide up conferences with two heavyweights?  Or some other combination.  The bottom line is that adding exposure in Florida and two major markets might be the best way to expand.  And the Big XII could probably offer USF and UCF 1/2 shares for the first 10 years and it would still dwarf the payments being made by the American.

Why would this hurt the ACC?  Well, Texas and Oklahoma would have a reason to recruit Florida.  While that might not impact Florida State and Miami, the schools that battle for the Florida leftovers do not want to have additional BCS-level schools roaming around.  And it might give some legitimacy to two schools that are chasing Florida State and Miami–to their detriment.  So you never know.

East Carolina would be a school that would pose a risk if elevated, but it just seems unlikely that the Big XII would stay away from the 4th and 5th schools in Florida to take a 5th from North Carolina.

What would ACC fans want to see?  The best move for the Big XII from the ACC’s perspective would be BYU/San Diego State.  Cincinnati would open Ohio up to Big XII schools.  Pitt, Va Tech, and Syracuse need as much access to Ohio as possible.  No need for other schools to move in.  BYU and San Diego State would not impact the ACC recruiting at all.  Tulane, meanwhile, would expose Louisiana to the Big XII.  The ACC could benefit from anything that will take talent away from the SEC.  But the SEC will have to backfill from somewhere… and that would likely be areas where the SEC/ACC compete.  So Tulane would be a fun underdog to root for, but probably not the best case scenario for the ACC.

What do you think?  Who would you want the Big XII to add?  Who would you want the Big XII to NOT add?

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8 thoughts on “Big XII Expansion Thoughts

  1. M. Caffrey on said:

    I’m less concerned about USF going to the BigXII, that school has been on a downward spiral since they fired Leavitt…at least when he was coach the downward spiral was only limited to the second half of the season. Hiyo!

    But, UCF is trending upward in football and basketball and has been a steadily growing program over the past few years. They are proving to not just be a flash-in-the-pan. Frankly, the Golden Knights should be on the ACC’s radar as a future expansion school.

    Cincinnati alone to the BigXII doesn’t scare me any more than WVU to the BigXII did. But adding Cinci and UConn would put a lot of recruiting pressure on the other Northeastern Schools (Syracuse, Pitt, BC, Rutgers).

    I still like the idea of Texas to the ACC someday, even as partial member like ND, but if that never happens then Houston would be an intriguing addition. They don’t offer much to the BigXII, and they are too small for the B1G, but if the ACC wanted to expand their footprint into Texas (which they should) then that is a team of interest.

    My greatest fear would be if the BigXII chose to go east and west; adding BYU and Cinci (as Frank the Tank recommended), and SDSU and UCF to become the first conference to span shore-to-shore a la the New Big East model. Although it didn’t work for the BE it could work for a conference like BigXII.

  2. I wouldnt like to see Cincinnati &/or the Florida schools joine the Big 12 because that could interfer with Louisvilles recruiting. The Cards have the most Florida players than all non Florida programs & they have had greater success with Ohio prospects since joining the ACC. Ohio & Florida are their top recruiting bases.
    None of these teams fit the Big 12 criteria according to the Big 12 fans that I have talked to. None of them can pay for themselves & they see the additions of any of these teams as the beginning of the end for their conference.
    Like M Caffery, I like Houston to the ACC. With the ACC showing signs of football power this year, it will be interesting to see what happens over the next 10 years. Will the B1G continue its decline? Will the Big 12 continue to grow weaker & will Fox choos to over pay for the product despite the tv rating?

    • M. Caffrey on said:

      Good points. I realize that the article at FtT was about BigXII expansion and their prospects, but honestly adding Cinci is not going to keep them from being raided in the future by other conferences. Adding BYU would be the fastest way to shore up their conference, or going coast-to-coast, but anything short of that is really just delaying the inevitable.

      A strong ACC in football and basketball can/will supplant the BigXII en route to 4 super conferences.

      • Agreed. The future of the Big XII depends on Texas & Oklahoma. This stronger ACC puts all the pressure on them. Having Okl St, Kansas St & probably Baylor this season as their champ isnt good for them. Adding numbers only hurts them as well. BYU maybe the only exception.

  3. Big xii would be foolish to not enter Florida. I think ucf would be better than Cincinnati

    West:East as annual cross division rivals
    KSU : KU (2nd cross division game versus ISU to allow regional play for ISU)
    OU: OSU (2nd cross division game versus TCU?)
    TTU: UT (2nd cross division game versus OU to maintain the Red River game)
    TCU: Baylor (2nd cross division game versus BYU so all the religious schools play each other)
    ISU : UCF (2nd cross division game versus KSU?
    BYU : WVU (2nd cross division game versus TTU?)

  4. Wolfman on said:

    I think the B12 has learned their lesson on creating islands. That to me eliminates the Florida schools. Cincinnati helps with WVU but that just makes the island a bit bigger.

    BYU, Air Force and BSU are their best options.

    • neomodernism on said:

      the Big XII threw out geography when Nebraska and Missouri left Iowa State stranded. then WVU became another island. I see more islands rather than less. Cincinnati may help out WVU but still leaves ISU. What, take Cincinnati and NIU? highly unlikely. This more islands like BYU and Florida.

      • The Florida schools may be islands. But they are very accessible islands due to the proximity of airports. In contrast, much of the Big XII, including WVU, is challenging from a travel standpoint.

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