I disagree on UTEP and UTSA being candidates. I would add New Mexico. Bad football. Decent market.
Does anyone else think that the Big 12 must expand?
The ONLY Texas school I could even fathom the XII expanding with would be Houston. Since Texas A&M left, the southeastern corridor of Texas is XII-less. I don't mean to say that the other 4 schools from Texas in the XII (Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU) don't draw from the Houston region of the state, I'm just saying that Texas A&M has a much stronger pull. Any other school in the state wouldn't be on my long list of candidates.
New Mexico would be okay if their football was a tad stronger. I think they could take Kansas out, but past that, I'm not too sure. Their basketball is very strong which helps.
As far as any other candidates: BYU/Boise St. seem to be a package deal. Even though I think they'd compete in the XII, I don't see how expanding that far west would benefit a conference who chose West Virginia over either of those schools. If they could somehow bridge Idaho to West Virginia (or even get close), it'd be plausible, but I just don't see it happening unfortunately. XII really dropped the ball with Louisville. Cincinnati is solid athletic institution and I wouldn't be surprised if they were the first invite if/when the XII expands. IF, however, the ACC happens to become available, I could see the XII going from 10 to 14 with invites to Florida St, Miami FL, Clemson, and Georgia Tech. Would any of those actually leave to join the XII? I have no idea.
As far as MUST expand? Right now, no. SHOULD they? Probably. I wouldn't bet against the Playoff Selection Committee favoring not only conference champions, but conference championship game champions. If they blatantly say that is not the case, then the XII doesn't have to expand. I think they would only benefit in the long run by adding at least 2 more programs.