The Bishin Cutter wrote:
Louisville made too much of a mess pegging themselves as an eastern school with southeastern recruitment needs. That, when paired with that drop-off in football for a bit (with WVU and Cincy bringing it instead), I doubt Jurich had a shot spare a few ADs. And, I see the Big XII on tv so much more now in the Philly area...did a school bordering PA do that?
Cincy and USF are safe bets. Two schools who sat at the AQ table at one time. That combo would nuke the AAC deal, though, iirc.
You are referencing the Steve Kragthorpe period, apparently. You think Tommy Tuberville is going to lead Cincinnati into the Big 12? Good luck on that one with stints at multiple places; but surely Cincinnati is his last downward landing spot.
Oliver Luck at WVU played it well. Louisville did have some AD support, including that of OU. Mitch McConnell getting publicly involved clouded the effort, because the Big 12 had essentially given the green light to WVU, perhaps some days/weeks beforehand. Had it been pursued or announced months earlier that Maryland was heading to the B1G, landing spots effecting WVU and Louisville could look different. Louisville getting pegged as an eastern school had much to do with being a member of the old Big East. And being in northern Kentucky, they are going to recruit southward. They've had a good string of Florida recruits over a period of time. I don't believe Louisville made a mess of it at all; to the contrary, their profile, achievements, politicking, and geography landed them in the ACC. Where could they have done better, given all the realistic options?
The Big 12 had no intention of exceeding ten. Was having a bridge to WVU on their minds when TCU and WVU were brought aboard? They reportedly talked about it and decided it was not essential. I expect they thought they could add later on if need be.
The Big 12 certainly has the right to choose to stay at ten. The rules say a minimum of seven. The conference wants deregulation of CCG rules. If the NCAA body approves it, then their request is granted. Within the parameters, the Big 12 controls what they choose to do. Where the conflict happens, is that the Big 12 cannot control what some other conferences value and pursue, and how external deciders view it. That 13th big game that the BIG, SEC, PAC12, and the ACC have at the end of the regular season does matter. If the favorite or the team with the better record loses, that's also high stakes with much on the line. If Big 12 interests want to diminish the importance of this, then should they be disturbed if a team from another conference loses such a game, and still gets placed in the playoffs? It can't be had both ways.
Personally, I'd like to see the Big 12 take that argument off the table. They have a core of quality schools that generally match-up well in the broad scheme of the P5 and what they are trying to do. Adding a couple may be less about finding new cutthroat conference competitors; rather, changing the mechanics and methodology in crowning champions and scheduling, with elevated size that impacts marketing, influence, and image. This is a fine conference. But a few adjustments appear much warranted. Why would the Big 12 want to give certain advantages, deserved or questioned, to other P5 conferences when they have the power to change the dynamics?