The Big 12 expansion story continues. Now the word from Brett McMurphy at ESPN is this:
Now up to 18 on Big 12’s expansion list: AF ArkSt Boise BYU Cincinnati CSU UConn ECU Houston Memphis NIU NM SDSU SMU Temple Tulane UCF USF— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 12, 2016
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reported this:
Told that 12 or 14 both remain options for conference, zero far less likely. Fourteen means more $$$$, bigger footprint, more stability.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) August 12, 2016
Though 12 seems to be the most likely, according to both Carlton and McMuprhy:
Told 12 is a safe middle ground and means that Big 12 feels reasonably confident about its future and possible new media interest come 2024.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) August 12, 2016
Sources also said it's "becoming less and less likely" that the league will expand to 14 teams. The most likely scenario is that the Big 12 will stay at 10 teams or only add two schools for a 12-team league with two six-team divisions, sources said.
If the Big 12 is expanding by two, it seems like Cincinnati has to be one of the teams. That leaves Houston and BYU the front-runners for the remaining spot. Then there are some reasonable contenders too. And then there are some teams that will at least get the interviewing experience.