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If you had any questions about whether or not the Big 12 would be expanding in the future, Commissioner Brett Yormark says they have a plan.
Now, whether or not the right team presents itself as a viable option is one thing, but the conference could be looking to add more teams once Texas and Oklahoma officially leave. The Big 12 opened its media days on Wednesday with Yormark giving his ‘state of the conference’ speech, where he discussed what the future will look like going forward.
“I feel like I’ve been talking about expansion for a year now. When I said we were open for business last year, I think people took that as ‘My God, this guy is new and wants to go and disrupt,” Yormark told reporters in Dallas. “Indicative of my opening comments today, open for business is that we are going to explore any and every possibility to grow revenue and to diversify our conference.”
As for expansion, there has been chatter of movement since the Pac-12 lost USC and UCLA. The conference is still working to finalize a media rights deal, while some schools around the Pac-12 have quietly looked for a parachute if things go south. But, it’s also more complicated than just wanting out.
Big 12 Ready To Expand Again With Cohesive Opportunity
Schools like Colorado and Utah seem to fit the new Big 12, especially with both television markets and sustainable marketability. The conference is monitoring the situation in Boulder with Deion Sanders, while keeping an eye on how to expand its basketball presence with others. Now, Brett Yormark has turned his conference into a destination place for schools looking for stability, in a not so stable marketplace.
Outside of the Big Ten, SEC and ACC, there aren’t many conferences left that can offer what the Big 12 can. Yormark knows they won’t be as big as the big-three, but they can offer schools a chance to reset and potentially have a bigger footprint in college athletics.
“I said coming out of our spring business meetings at the Greenbrier that we have a plan, and we have a plan for expansion,” Yormark mentioned. “I’m not going to really address it today. You can ask me, but I’m not really going to address it. We do have a plan and hopefully we can execute that plan sooner than later.”
This really feels like the Big 12 is waiting to see how bad the Pac-12 media rights deal will be. If member schools don’t like what they see, they’ll look around. Also, on the basketball front, luring a team like Gonzaga into the conference would only set the Big 12 up for further success, as they look to expand their territory.
Last Year For Texas, Oklahoma In The Big 12
I think it’s safe to assume that the Big 12 is ready for both Texas and Oklahoma to move on. Sure, the history of the two teams will live on forever inside the conference, but it’s time to close this chapter of the book. As for what this means for the conference in-terms of recruiting, Yormark doesn’t feel that both teams carried them in national recruiting.
“I don’t think they’ve carried the conference in recruiting,” Brett Yormark noted. “They haven’t been in our championship game the past few years.”
This wasn’t a shot at both schools, ok maybe a little one, but he’s not wrong. The conference has seen numerous other teams take aim at a conference title, with Kansas State defeating TCU in Dallas this past season. So, even though the Big 12 is losing two iconic brands, they feel as if the conference can turnover a new chapter, while finding ways to connect with a new generation.
“Our goal is to connect with Gen Z,” Yormark mentioned.
In terms of where the conference is at with the additions of UCF, BYU, Cincinnati and Houston, the conference commissioner is understandably happy with the growth, given the past few years.
“There’s no better time to be a part of the Big 12. It’s going to grow. I’m really excited about our future.”