Re-inflating the Big 12 will require expanding back to 12 teams

BIG 12 PREGAME – The road back to conference stability leads through Fort Worth. The final destination should be putting the 12 back in Big 12.
BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: September 23, 2011
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photo - TCU head coach Gary Patterson leads his team onto the field for an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Falcon Stadium at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/ Kevin Kreck) ORG XMIT: COKK107
TCU head coach Gary Patterson leads his team onto the field for an NCAA college football game against Air Force, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Falcon Stadium at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/ Kevin Kreck) ORG XMIT: COKK107

Conference play in the Big 12 begins Saturday with the Oklahoma State-Texas A&M and Missouri-Oklahoma games. The Big 12's first year of a round-robin schedule figures to be its last.

After the conference has been saved again, presidents David Boren of OU and Burns Hargis of OSU both said they favor expansion back to 12.

Boren, while saying he favored the Cotton Boren over Arlington's JerryWorld for the OU-Texas game, even said the Dallas Cowboys' stadium could again host the Big 12 championship game.

A few thoughts about expansion:

1. The most likely plan for expansion is to add a South Division school, most likely from Texas, and then add either two schools from out West or two schools from back East to fill out the North Division.

For example, TCU could be added to fill Texas A&M's void. Then the Big 12 could decide from western schools Brigham Young, Air Force and Boise State, or Big East schools West Virginia, Louisville, Cincinnati and even Rutgers. Another possibility would be Houston.