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Big 12 Expansion: Chuck Neinas Deserves Credit

Around a year ago, it looked like the Big 12 was going to bite the bullet, as the conference was coping with the losses of Nebraska and Colorado, and the future losses of Texas A&M and Missouri. Further, rumors of Texas bolting to the PAC-12 along with Oklahoma were running rampant, a move that would have certainly destroyed the conference.

Now, the Big 12 is alive after poaching TCU and West Virginia away from the Big East. The Big 12 is also potentially better than ever, as rumors are flying that the conference is looking to add two or four schools, with Florida St., Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Notre Dame being among the rumored institutions that could be added to the conference.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News believes that Chuck Neinas, the interim commissioner of the Big 12, deserves much of the credit. So much so, in fact, that Gosselin suggests that Neinas is the sports executive of the year, as he helped save the conference.

Neinas has certainly laid the foundation for incoming commissioner Bob Bowlsby to succeed. The Big 12 is alive and well, and the Big 12 is also in prime position to seep into the southeastern United States -- thanks to Neinas. If the Big 12 does add two or four schools this summer, Bowlsby will undoubtedly receive credit.

But like Gosselin points out, let's not forget that it was Neinas who helped save the Big 12, and put it in this position to succeed.

For the latest on the Big 12 and potential expansion, be sure to check back here at SB Nation Dallas all summer long.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.