The Big 12 held meetings in Phoenix last week and there was a lot of talk about to expand or not to expand, and with the aid of an outside firm Navigate Research which simulated anything from the status quo and up to a 16-team conference.
This time there seems to be a much better chance that the Big 12 will finally do something and expand the conference, bring back a championship game and if the league as their way a conference television network.
The top names that have been tossed around are BYU, Cincinnati, Memphis, UConn, Central Florida, South Florida and others as well.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News tossed out this gem where -- drum roll please -- Colorado State is high upon the list for the Big 12 to consider.
Since any expansion dovetails with a TV network, look to the markets of possible candidates. For now, the top four are believed to be Connecticut, BYU (which has a national following), Cincinnati and possibly Colorado State (Denver market), although the situation is fluid.
This is just one scenario but TV plays a big deal in expansion. Just look at why Rutgers and Maryland were added to the Big Ten as it certainly was not based upon their success on the football field but more so for the New York City and Washington, D.C., markets.
With Colorado State's name added to this list it can somewhat confirm that Memphis, Central Florida and South Florida may not be as desirable as initially thought.
The Rams are in the area of the Denver market and if a Big 12 Network is to come to fruition they would make sense as that is a top-20 television market. Again, it does not matter if millions watch or 10 people watch because those who subscribe pay for that channel if it is on their pay TV lineup.
The consideration of the Big 12 adding Colorado State does seem odd, especially when West Virginia is desperate for a travel partner and those in the know of the Big 12 have said going East is a priority. It seems far fetched that the conference would either take two Western teams in BYU or Colorado State, or go with one Eastern school and take Colorado State over BYU.
As Carlton said: "The situation is fluid." So, Ram fans slow down and do not start printing those Green and Gold Big 12 shirts just yet.
Travel is somewhat overrated, even for minor sports. For example, baseball plays usually one mid-week game and a series that goes through either Thursday through Saturday, or Friday through Sunday and athletes would miss class regardless. Basketball schedules go Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday, so again classes would be missed.
The Big 12 is looking at all options and they may want to go with the best market size because travel is not really that a big a deal. Travel could be an issue from Morgantown to Provo, but if Colorado State and BYU are added it makes for a short trip for those going West.
Those Rams fans who are being honest would realize that currently BYU is the better overall athletic program, but there are issues with the Cougars. So, it would make sense for BYU to be ahead of Colorado State in the pecking order. However, Sunday play for some sports could cause a hiccup for the Cougars to be included and there are some issues with the Honor Code at BYU which is under scrutiny, and the Big 12 may not want.
Up next on the Big 12 expansion tour is a meeting amongst conference leaders at the end of May where they may actually decide to go forward with expansion and then start to research their next move for how many teams, who and when. This would take probably about a year for the conference to do their proper homework on adding anywhere from just two to six teams.
As always, we just wait.