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Colorado State is courting the Big 12

Colorado State and other schools are courting the Big 12 for an invite.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 realignment could be the last train to get into a Power Five league and that means any team that even has a sniff at getting into the Big 12 will pull out all of the guns. While the conference is deciding on what to do in regards to expand there are teams sending the conference details about why they would be a big fit.

The latest teams to that are sending information to the Big 12 are Memphis, Houston, UCF and Colorado State. The Rams name has come up lately as a candidate that is getting more consideration than some thought, and that is due to their location near Denver.

ESPN obtained documents about communication and travel among the these three schools. Documents show that West Virginia president Gordon Gee -- he is also on the conferences expansion committee -- flew to Houston on Nov. 29 to tour the athletic facilities and speak with top officials.

Memphis made a big splash on Feb. 24 when president David Rudd wrote a letter to Gee and included one to the other two on the composition committee in Oklahoma president David Boren and Baylor president Ken Starr.

The enticement in that letter was that FedEX, which is based in Memphis, would make a $500 million investment in academic and athletic infrastructure over the next five years into Memphis. Also included was another letter which was from FedEx chairman Fred Smith who supports Memphis' attempt to get into the Big 12.

"We strongly support the university's efforts to become a member of an expanded Big 12 athletic conference," Smith writes to Rudd in a letter dated Feb. 23. "In support of (Memphis') Big 12 aspirations, we have researched college conference sponsorships and are prepared to become a major Big 12 sponsor of football and basketball."

That is a pitch.

Colorado Sate made a pitch as well and Gee was pleased with what he heard from the Rams.

"Indeed, Colorado State is making a statement and moving swiftly into the forefront of universities, not only in your region but nationally," Gee wrote. "Be assured that my colleagues in the Big 12 and I will take careful notice."

This response is more along the lines of a thank you from Gee, but still important to note that Colorado State is not just sitting on its hands.

Colorado State does not have plans to present some high profile presentation to get the Big 12's attention, but Rams athletic director Joe Parker said that he is also not going to be quiet and hope the conference comes to them.

"From our perspective, we want to be the very best version of Colorado State University that we can be," Parker told the Coloradoan. "And in doing that, I think we will hopefully garner some attention and maybe be able to enter into a dialogue or conversation about whether we would be a likely option for expansion if expansion is going to be contemplated."


"We feel excited about who we are, the trajectory of the university, the things that athletics lends to helping people understand who we are as an institution," Parker said. "I feel like we align well with our current peer group, and I feel like we are in a position to really emerge as the pre-eminent program within the Mountain West."

It seems that these schools will do whatever it takes to get into a Power Five league, and to be honest, Memphis' deal is very enticing for the Big 12 to consider.

The main goal in expansion is money and what market the school resides in and not necessarily how good one's football team performs on the field.