Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and University of Oklahoma President David Boren held a press conference officially announcing that the Big 12 would not expand, thereby maintaining its 10-school membership.
Per Boren, the decision to stay at 10 was unanimous.
According to Bowlsby, expansion is off the table:
... it is not an active agenda item at this time.
Boren agreed, but also noted “we will never say never.”
Depending on your personal opinion, this is either great news or terrible news for Kansas. Obviously this means the conference will maintain the round-robin scheduling for its sports. While Kansas basketball probably really doesn’t care, Kansas football had been able to take advantage of the schedule variance that came with a 12-team league in the past.
According to Bowlsby, the conference is “in discussion” with the television partners for increasing payouts to the Big 12 despite staying at 10 teams. He indicated the football championship game was the primary factor in those discussions.
Boren also noted that an extension to the Grant-of-Rights was not discussed.
There is not a single school that is looking to go elsewhere.
I think the question now is, how long can the Big 12, as currently constructed, last? There are still eight years left on the Big 12’s Grant-of-Rights, something that Big 12 schools don’t seem interested in talking about extending until closer to its expiration.
I think a lot depends on factors outside of the Big 12’s control. Will the Big 10 look to form the first 16-team super-conference? (Many Kansas fans covet a Big 10 invite.) Will other conferences do the same thing? When will the College Football Playoff expand beyond four teams?
To wrap up: Was today’s announcement good or bad for Kansas? The comments section is yours.