Big 12 Should Expand says WV's AD Oliver Luck

The Big 12 Conference should continue expansion according to West Virginia athletic director, Oliver Luck. He is joining a growing chorus of Big 12 officials calling for the conference to continue expansion and that it shouldn't stop just because they have added the TCU Horned Frogs and his Mountaineers.

Luck is urging his fellow athletic directors in the Big 12 to seriously consider expansion to keep in line with the growth of the SEC and the ACC, and at least get to the number that both the Big Ten and the Pac-12 are at. Without further expansion it could place the Big 12 as the only major conference at 10 members and without a lucrative conference playoff game. Even the Big East is going to 12 teams, and will probably follow in the ACC's footsteps to 14 by 2015 when Navy joins.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are already on record as wanting to grow the Big 12 back to 12 members, and the conference has even appointed an exploratory expansion committee to get things rolling. So with everybody talking about the possible Big 12 expansion, why has there not been more talk about it during this off season?

Because for now the conference is stabilized with the additions of TCU and WVU, and the decision for further expansion will only be made when a new Big 12 commissioner is on board. Chuck Neinas will be gone on July 1, but it is expected that his replacement will be on the ground and running by then and the possibility exists that there could be a final decision already in place regarding expansion.

So the question is who would be the prime candidates? The usual suspects are always thrown out there: BYU and Louisville to name two. It's not much of a secret that Louisville will be added sooner or later as the 11th member, but right now the spot for a 12th member is up for grabs. In many circles BYU is a long shot because everyone is tired of the difficulties in trying to work with them. Recently, the Cougars have once again been in contact with the Big 12 on joining, but so far the conference has taken a pass.

Another reason the conference might not be interested are a number of rumors stating that that the Big 12 will seek to expand eastward, rather than travel beyond the Rocky Mountains. The big name cropping up on their radar: Florida State University.

If you ask Luck who he wants to see join the Big 12 he has both Louisville and Cincinnati at the head of the list. That would not bode well for the Big East or Mountain West Conferences. A two-team loss in the Big East would call for the addition of two new members, and with the recent raids on CUSA, the next raid will undoubtedly come at the expense of the Mountain West Conference. But even if the Big 12 poaches teams from the ACC instead of the Big East, FSU and Clemson for example, the domino effect would lead to the Big East eyeballing the MWC for several more of its teams.
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