Starting Wednesday, the Big 12 hosted potential expansion schools in Dallas at a hotel to hear presentations on why each school would fit in the Big 12 Conference and what they'd each bring. The presentations were roughly two hours each in a conference room at the hotel hosting the presentations, where Pony Stampede was on location.
Houston and Air Force presented on Wednesday from what Pony Stampede saw and Connecticut, Tulane and UCF were schools that presented on Thursday. Other schools that were likely to have presented were Rice, USF and BYU although Pony Stampede did not see officials from these schools on site. With the hotel the Big 12 used, an alternative entrance could have certainly been used.
SMU was not seen by Pony Stampede, but did present on Tuesday, Pony Stampede was able to confirm. Earlier sources had indicated SMU had not presented.
The Big 12 will wrap up presentations on Friday most likely and then asses where it's at in terms of expansion. Bob Bowlsby will then make recommendations to the Big 12 Presidents in mid-October for expansion candidates.
Bowlsby wants the conference to expand while no decision has been made on whether the conference will actually expand by the presidents.
Where does that leave SMU? If you're not interested, you can stop reading now. This is after all, an SMU site.
SMU was able to continue to push their case for the Big 12, which offices out of Irving, Texas. Bob Bowlsby even walks, runs or rides his bike through SMU a couple times a week.
While SMU might not get into the Big 12, it's chances are as good as some of the other schools. Here's why.
SMU has met numerous times with Bowlsby, Oklahoma president David Boren and Texas president Greg Fenves pitching the school and using high-powered alumni to make the case for SMU.
When you look back at a school that had three football wins in the past two seasons entering this football season, SMU making the Big 12's final 11 reported schools is impressive.
SMU isn't a massive research university, it's in a market the Big 12 feels it already owns, and it hasn't had much football success. The reasons are obvious why the Big 12 shouldn't add SMU.
That being said, SMU is in a prime position to make a push into the Big 12 because of the connections the school has made, its allies in its corner as far as Big 12 presidents go and the chance that the Big 12 holds off on expanding.
That scenario is increasingly likely as the Big 12 is certainly pressured to include Houston, which isn't welcomed by a few schools due to its academic reputation and potentially adding another Texas power that could hurt recruiting for out of state schools. BYU also comes with its own baggage, but is another school that has impressed on the football field.
If the Big 12 were to add SMU over Houston at this moment, it'd spark a national discussion about whether this was really about making the conference better or a money grab (which it is). Ceiling is a word used constantly by people close to discussions, which is why you've seen the likes of Rice and Tulane enter the discussions.
The Big 12 knows what it has with SMU. The Big 12 and plenty of member schools like SMU. It just wishes it has the success to show like Houston does.
That's why once SMU pieces together an impressive season, look out. Everything is in place for SMU to be successful. It just needs to win on the football field.
This isn't the end of the world if SMU doesn't make it in, only the beginning of an even bigger push for SMU to be at the top when the Big 12 or another conference comes calling.