The Big 12 has dragged its feet long enough about conference expansion — there are nearly 450 articles on SB Nation’s StoryStream on the topic -- but there might be some finality to the subject.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd has spoken to a trio of sources who say a decision on expansion is expected to come prior to the college football season. Those sources told Dodd that the league does not want expansion to overtake the actual season.
The Big 12 set a time frame of September or October to make a decision, but when asked publicly Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBS Sports: "I have not made any comment on time frame and do not plan any such statement."
It is now crunch time for schools to send in their next pitch to try to land one of as many as four spots to join the last train towards a Power Five conference.
There have been plenty of rumors about two teams, four teams, football-only teams and even two teams now and then poach the Arizona schools by 2024.
If a decision is made to expand prior to the season then there is the possibility of teams joining for the 2017 season.
If a Mountain West school were to leave for the Big 12 with less than a year’s notice it is a steep price to pay.
Per the Mountain West bylaws, that school would forfeit its final year of conference revenue and pay the league either $5 million dollars or double the amount of the final year’s revenue, whichever is greater.
If a team waits and gives notice by June 30, 2017 then they could join for the 2018-19 season and would only have to forfeit its final year of revenue.
Of the Mountain West schools, Colorado State has been the only serious contender as a full member and then Boise State and San Diego State have come up as football-only options.