Big 12 with no serious talk of expansion

Big 12 media days began Monday with commissioner Bob Bowlsby saying expansion is still being considered, but it's not inevitable by any means.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren fired the first shot last month with the term “psychologically disadvantaged” to describe the state of the Big 12 conference.

Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby had his chance to respond Monday morning to kick off Big 12 media days in Dallas.

“I don’t believe we are at a disadvantage,” Bowlsby said. “Relative to the playoff, I don’t think one year makes a trend. We were close to having two teams in last year, and you really don’t have to have much of an imagination to see how that might have worked out where we would have gotten one and maybe two without too much of a stretch.

“So if we go another year and get left out and it appears to be systemic, we need to be mindful of it. I don’t believe we’re disadvantaged at this point, but that doesn’t mean a disadvantage couldn’t develop or couldn’t be shown to exist.”

Bowlsby was quick to point out the whole issue of expansion isn’t in his hands, either. And it’s not even in the hands of the athletic directors in the conference.

“It’s our presidents and chancellors that will consider it,” Bowlsby said. “It is my understanding that the majority of our presidents and chancellors believe 10 is the right number for us.

“There are those that believe we should get larger, and they feel strongly about it. There are those who believe we should stay at 10, and they feel strongly about it. And there are probably four or five in the middle who are persuadable one way or the other.”

Last year the slogan was “one true champion” for the conference. Obviously after what happened with Baylor and TCU, that had to become obsolete. Unveiled Monday was “every game matters” and where the champion is crowned by who you’ve played instead of who you didn’t play.

Bowlsby said potential expansion is always going to be under consideration, but there isn’t anything too new in that department. Until the opinion changes, things with the Big 12 will remain the same.

Bowlsby did have fun with the “psychologically disadvantaged” line, however, and absolutely knew that question was coming.

“I lost the pool, by the way,” Bowlsby said. “I thought that would be the first question. I’ve always thought that I was personally at a psychological disadvantage. So I don’t know that I’m threatened by that.”


Sooners Illustrated Top Stories