Breaking Down the Math
FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandell does a good job of explaining the numbers that have been leaked. Mandell received the actual figures from the Big 12, so it sound as legitimate as we’ll get.
— With 10 teams and a championship game, playoff chances go from 62 percent to 66 percent.
— With 12 teams, nine conference games and a title game, playoff chances increase to 73 percent.
— In the same scenario but with eight league games instead of nine, playoff chances increase to 75 percent.
In the end, that projected 21 percent growth for 12 teams/eight games is even higher than any previously reported number and has to be pretty eye-opening to league officials.
So, this is higher than I expected and those numbers alone would lead you to think that expansion is on the horizon. From what I can tell, the College Football Playoff has a deal in place for four teams until 2024. I know that some writers out there have said that they would love to see the Big 12 just wait until the playoff expands, but the last time that the Big 12 sat on their hands they got lapped. Can the Big 12 afford to sit on their hands for 8 more years? That’s a long time to wait for the CFB to expand.
Via CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodds and ESPN’s Jake Trotter, they both run down the best and most viable candidates would look like. Dodds ranks his two best options, being Cincinnati and Central Florida, with Houston coming in 3rd and BYU 4th overall.
Trotter’s biggest case for and against is with BYU and Central Florida, and Trotter runs the pros and cons for each team.
The Top Four
DMN’s Chuck Carlton has a nice summary on the state of things, including the state of the Longhorns, but more importantly, but he does give the four candidates that he is being led to believe:
If numbers aren’t there, expansion doesn’t make sense. Will all due respect to schools extolling their virtues to the Big 12, there’s a reason those schools remain outside the “power five.”
Since any expansion dovetails with a TV network, look to the markets of possible candidates. For now, the top four are believed to be Connecticut, BYU (which has a national following), Cincinnati and possibly Colorado State (Denver market), although the situation is fluid.
The shock is Colorado State, but remember, the AD at Colorado State, Joe Parker, was previously at Texas Tech and an understudy of Kirby Hocutt.
Since I’m always curious about what you think, I found a decent polling option, so let’s do this. You can pick two teams, so vote away.