After months of speculation this summer that the Big XII conference school presidents would agree to expand the conference membership from beyond 10 teams starting in 2017, the board according multiple sources weren’t able to get the 8 votes needed to expand. Big X11 commissioner Bob Bowlsby had initially interviewed 30 schools , which was narrowed down to 11 finalists. Those schools were Air Force, BYU, UCF, USF, Cincinnati, Colorado State, UCONN, Houston, Rice, SMU and Tulane.
The Big XII will resume playing it’s championship game for the first time in several years starting in 2017. New NCAA legislation that you could play a championship game with as few as the 10 teams, which the Big XII currently has, meant the conference could go back to the playing “winner take all” for the league title, again, without expanding.
And, there is ongoing discussion with ESPN (who has the rights) to form a “Big XII Television Network” for as soon as 2018, as they have already done with the SEC Network and soon to launch with the ACC Network.
Obviously this means a few things for the schools in Florida. USF and UCF will remain in their current conference, which for right now is certainly a lot more competitive than what was previously expected when the conference formed in a reactionary fashion when all the other expanding mayhem was occurring back in 2012.
With all this said, the official announcement wont come until a press conference at 5:30pm. We have seen stranger things from the Big XII before.