The Bishin Cutter,
Good to see your post after a bit of a lull in expansion talk outside the B12. You have a unique and entertaining way in critiquing personalities in these processes.
The B12 certainly does have money to employ two major consulting firms, as noted a few days ago in one of Freaked's posts: (from the Austin American-Stateman by Kirk Bohls). This is key:
"The league has hired Navigate Research, a Chicago-based company that counts among its clients 12 universities, including Baylor, as well as eight NFL teams. It has also contracted with BHV, a New York City-based firm that has clients like the University of Texas, the Texas Rangers, Notre Dame, the Houston Rockets and the Rose Bowl."
My take now, is that Boren may have gotten movement toward what he wanted without it looking like he got what he wanted. In return, he and others have agreed not to yap (doing complaints and leaks) so much about it.
I believe the big-time consulting firms, both already connected to a couple or more of B12 schools, are being used as much about blanket cover as it is about collecting data. Celestial forbid if Bowlsby would have to generate some elbow grease in this regard.
The consulting firms could give political cover to Texas and others in changing or adjusting their minds on expansion. It gives promise to Oklahoma and like-minded to keep expansion, a CCG, and explore a network as near-future options. If the consulting firms recommend against expansion, then the claim can be advanced that it was professionally studied by outside groups, and thus, supports the status quo essentially. Most importantly, if expansion happens, it can be used to diminish direct anger at the B12 from the G5 schools who tried so hard to get accepted, but were rejected. If Houston is not picked, for example, it could help serve to deflect the frustrations of some Texas politicians supportive of UH.
Lash, your remark about Cincy holds true. They can't speak about closing the geographic gap with WVU without including Cincy. Cincy is dealing with this as if there's some confidence. UCF/USF are barking for notice. UConn has received attention as well.
Maybe the consulting firms will prove very valuable. There are some nuance differences among some of the alleged G5 prospects. They all have some measure of baggage, and each of the prime ones have positive attributes. Hopefully, the two firms will be thorough, objective, timely, and impressive with their findings.
sec03, you make a lot of good points on G5 issues and a possible raid perception with consultancy taking the hit verses a particular school.
There is another issue the previous Commissioner Chuck Neinas which was a fantastic leader in my opinion, the Big 12 had to expand to 10 schools and play round robin of 9 games to satisfy the networks ESPN and FOX with the correct football inventory.
So if the league wanted to have a CCG with ten members they can not go back to an 8 game schedule which would make some sort of sense when every school did not play each other in the season. Otherwise you will have a guaranteed rematch every year.
If the Big 12 wanted to return to an 8 game football conference schedule, they must expand to 12 schools.
There is yet another issue with needing to provide FOX noon eastern games time starts which causes schools like Oklahoma to play 11 A.M. games which is very hard on fans.
Expanding with Cincinnati would provide one more option with WVU to help in this type of football inventory for eastern noon start times.
There are other benefits to expanding to 12 and not just providing WVU and close by neighbor.
Before there was a gag order and certain tid bits leaked out, there was a comment made from a reliable source the Big 12 will expand however may not be the 12 schools like every assumes.
This would indicate to me the league has not made up its mind if they want 12 or 14 schools. Another reason to bring in consultants to drive through these type of discussions that may be heated between schools wanting to stop at 12 and schools wanting to expand to larger number of 14. There is another issue with come schools like TCU that appear to like 10 schools and must be convinced of the value of 14 schools verses 12.
While it is fun to speculate on a particular group of schools, the consultancy firm can help to bring agreement on which schools should be brought into the league.
Another tid bit that came out before the gag order, BYU is not an issue on playing on Sunday for the Big 12.
This could be another reason the league wants to consider 14 to allow bringing in BYU which would be a fantastic option for football and future Big 12 network.
This is just one more type of alignment the Big 12 may be needing to consider.
West: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, BYU
East: Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, WVU, Cincinnati, ?14 school
Is Florida worth the risk to take one school of UCF/USF or is UConn a better choice for launching a Big 12 network.
Expanding to 12 may be an more easy choice, however, expanding to 14 needs deep dives and consultants to wade thru the benefits.
By the way the Big Ten took almost a year to decide on expansion after the infamous announcement the league was expanding from 11 schools which caused wide spread panic especially with leagues on the east part of country.
I do not believe it is particularly unusual to take this long of time to make these type of important decisions with membership.