Big XII Expansionpalooza has been a long, seemingly never-ending dog and pony show for everyone in the process. But it looks as if we’re finally making progress. On Wednesday we learned that the conference has reportedly cut down their expansion pool list, with South Florida making the cut.
Big 12 cuts expansion list to at least 12: AF, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, CSU, UConn, UH, Rice, USF, SMU, Temple & Tulane sources told @ESPN— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 1, 2016
As you can see, the usual names that have been floated as serious candidates appear on this list with BYU, Colorado State, and two-thirds of the American advancing from the initial group of seventeen schools. Making surprise appearances here are Air Force, the lone service academy, and Rice, the lone Conference USA school. I guess Houston’s #HTownTakeover campaign included the Owls as well.
The news of the expansion cutdown started circulating Wednesday morning when candidates such as East Carolina, UNLV, and New Mexico were all told to respectively take a hike by the conference. As of this moment, it’s still being confirmed whether or not Memphis made the final cut, which would be a shock for the Tigers and their Fed-Ex money.
We’ve seen USF’s presentation materials (“reasearch” and all) and now they will have the opportunity to meet with the conference in person. Representatives from each school will reportedly meet with Big XII officials next week in Dallas to make their final pitch.
With the conference leaning towards only taking two new members when they make their final decision in October, a flawless pitch from Harlan, Genshaft, and Board of Trustees Chair Brian Lamb combined with a fast start from the football team is exactly the recipe USF needs to pull this off. Let’s sit back and watch.