The past 24 hours has seen a lot of action on the Big 12 expansion front and it now seems that things have settled down, to a degree.
These universities are Air Force, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Colorado State, UConn, Houston, Rice, South Florida, SMU, Temple and Tulane are still in the running.
There are rumblings of football-only membership again, specifically from Air Force, and that the league is once again looking maybe adding four teams, but going to 14 seems less likely according to sources who spoke to ESPN.
However, in typical Big 12 fashion this ESPN report mentions that even after all of this hubbub the league could stay at 10 teams.
Memphis has long though to be part of this group but that is the only school that the Worldwide Leader could not get a clear answer as to where the Tigers stand.
Boise State, New Mexico, UNLV and San Diego State are some of the universities that will not be considered moving forward, again per ESPN
The next step is that these schools will converge in Dallas, and in-person, starting as early as next week. The Big 12 ideally would like to make a choice by the time the presidents meet on Oc.t 17.
Lets circle back to these names on the list. First off, Rice comes out of left field to be a candidate for the Big 12. The Owls getting in seems very, very unlikely as they are not a football nor basketball power, but they do bring academics and are based in Houston. However, saying Rice takes in the Houston market is laughable because the University of Houston is miles ahead and they can barely scratch out a place with Houston.
SMU is in the same boat as Rice, plus Baylor and TCU are in that same vicinity and would not add a single thing to the table in terms of market reach.
Air Force hanging around makes sense as they had an invite in 2011 but eventually said no, and they are one of a few schools being considered as a football-only option alongside UConn and BYU.
Colorado State has been linked to the Big 12 for a while and is closer to BYU and Cincinnati than say Rice of SMU in terms of their place at the table. The Rams need to bank on a Big 12 Network being formed, and maybe even 14 teams to get the call up.
In reality, there are about five or six teams — if that — vying for likely two spots, and they probably are BYU, Cincinnati, UConn, Colorado State, Memphis and Houston.