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Big 12 expansion targets: BYU, TCU, West Virginia likely at top of list

COMPILED BY BERRY TRAMEL Modified: September 21, 2011 at 9:01 pm •  Published: September 21, 2011

The Big 12 presidents are expected to decide on a course of expansion, to either 10 or 12 schools. Here are the most likely candidates:

1. Brigham Young

Pluses: Large fan base, a good tradition and, as a football independent, are most readily available

Minuses: 900 miles from Lubbock, the nearest Big 12 school; Texas-like reputation in getting along within a league.

2. Texas Christian

Pluses: Great geographic fit in Fort Worth, solid football (reigning Rose Bowl champ) in recent years, spending more than $100 million on football stadium.

Minuses: Not a large fan base, brings no new market and historically mediocre football.

3. West Virginia

Pluses: Excellent football tradition, large fan base, good basketball.

Minuses: 860 miles to Ames, the nearest Big 12 school; poor academic reputation.

4. Air Force

Pluses: Colorado market, decent television draw, solid football support, competitive football, patriotism.

Minuses: Other sports noncompetitive.

5. Louisville

Pluses: Solid market addition, new football stadium, just 384 miles from Columbia, Mo.; great basketball.

Minuses: Limited football success in mediocre conferences, poor academic reputation.

6. Boise State

Pluses: Great football, intriguing television draw, would make a travel partner for BYU.

Minuses: Small market, 1,714 miles to Austin, other sports noncompetitive, poor academic reputation.

7. Cincinnati

Pluses: Big market, close to Louisville and West Virginia, good basketball.

Minuses: Small fan base, limited football tradition.

8. Houston

Pluses: Big market, history with Big 12 schools, decent football.

Minuses: Limited fan base, limited television appeal.

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