The Big 12's membership structure is set for now, but that could still change in the future. The conference is set to examine adding more members, according to a report by The Chronicle of Higher Education's Brad Wolverton, with BYU and the University of Louisville considered to be the next likely targets.
In terms of popular rumors, no conference has experienced such dramatic realignment chatter in the last two years as the Big 12, so we'll clarify a fresh batch of speculation with Wolverton's reporting. For the record, the Big 12 is set to enter to enter the 2012-'13 academic year with its "core" of eight teams - Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Iowa State - and two new members - TCU and West Virginia - replacing Missouri and Texas A&M, who are both departing for the Southeastern Conference. This past season the conference lost former members Colorado and Nebraska to the Pac 12 and Big 10, respectively. And now, the newsy bits:
- The conference does not consider expansion as a must. Some school presidents are comfortable with the current ten-team structure
- The candidates for expansion are BYU and Louisville, but they wouldn't necessarily come as a package. According to Wolverton, some Big 12 officials feel comfortable with the 11-team format the Big Ten used for years.
- If both the Cougars and Cardinals joined the conference, the Big 12 would be again eligible for a conference championship game in football, but Wolverton reports there's little interest in reestablishing that event.
- The expansion committee is in the midst of preparing a report to conference officials as to where it feels the conference should go - if anywhere - in the coming years.
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