Expansion Project Vol I
Expansion Project Vol II
Of all of the factors that we need to consider when evaluating expansion candidates none is more important than desire. In short, if you don’t want to move, the rest of these factors mean nothing. The Big Ten was making more on its media deals for years, but Alabama nor Florida nor USC nor Texas were beating down their door showing any interest in moving. It isn’t just about money. Even schools like Air Force and New Mexico have shied away from expansion due to not wanting to either leave their conference or compete against teams with more resources.
In order for any school to make the decision to change conferences there has to be an extremely strong desire within that school’s power base to make that change. That change tends to occur for one of two reasons:
- The leaders or fan bases don’t want to be in their current situation (think Maryland or Texas A&M)
- The current conference is not providing enough support for their programs (think TCU, Louisville, WVU, Rutgers, etc)
Within the concept of Big 12 expansion, Power Five conference schools will need to have a desire to leave. Something will need to be occurring that is causing some unrest within the fan base that can be solved with a move. Most non-Power Five schools will have the desire to advance into the top tier of conferences and will be positioning themselves to make the jump. Cincinnati’s president has not been bashful in his attempts to move.
Unfortunately there is no way to measure this, it is completely subjective. Even Missouri was pulling against itself at the end, with the leadership crafting deals with the Big 12 until the Board of Regents overrode them. For now we’ll have to do our best to populate teams on a scale from least desire to most and adjust as information from insiders changes.
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