If you thought that Big 12 expansion felt a little bit like a season of a popular reality television dating show, well, come forward and receive your rose. The reported 18-team list of potential expansion candidates, which appears to have gone up to 19 or 20, is being whittled down as the league informs schools that they have made the “cut” while others are being kicked to the curb as no loner under consideration.
Though Big 12 expansion is playing out in a more public manner than anyone expected, the first cut is not an unexpected development. CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd power-ranked the Big 12 expansion candidates in early August and even reported that a “cut” was coming by the end of the month.
The schools who make the cut, Dodd wrote, will be brought in for a “detailed interview with the Big 12 at a neutral site.” ESPN reports that those presentations will go down in Dallas next week.
Of the 10 teams on Dodd list, nine have made the reported cut — all except Boise State — plus four others.
Whether the Big 12 next cuts its massive candidates list down to 6-8 programs or goes directly to 2-4 remains to be seen at this point, and how it all shakes out is an even more difficult to question to answer. One thing that seems to be apparent is that a final decision will be made at a board of director’s meeting in about six weeks on Oct. 17.
Taking all reports into account (remember, nothing official will come from the Big 12 until the process is complete), here’s the most updated Big 12 expansion picture.
Made the cut
Cincinnati was first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, Colorado State was first reported by the Coloradoan, Memphis has only been reported by TMGCollegeSports.com (paywall), and the remainder of the schools were first reported by ESPN.
Missed the cut
San Diego State
East Carolina, UNLV and New Mexico announced their cuts, while the rest were first reported by ESPN.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Big 12 expansion tracker: Latest updates on which teams made the first cut