SI’s Pete Thamel is reporting that the Big 12 will most likely not expand:
While that’s not a definitive consensus, a new development with the league’s television partners has made not expanding the most likely scenario. Multiple sources indicated there have been discussions with the Big 12’s TV partners to pay the league not to expand. The purpose of the payment would be to eliminate the pro rata clause in the TV contract—which the TV officials consider a loophole—that enables the league to receive nearly $25 million annually for every school it adds. The willingness of ESPN and Fox to discuss paying to eliminate that clause and end future potential expansion drama in upcoming years makes not expanding the most likely conclusion.
“If they put more money up and bought out that pro rata clause, we’ll likely keep ourselves at 10,” speculated a high-ranking Big 12 source.
The Big 12 presidents are set to meet on Monday and in addition to Thamel, CBS Sports Dennis Dodds writes that there is likely no agreement that will happen on Monday.
Multiple sources told CBS Sports that putting off an expansion decision has emerged as a possible option. The league’s presidents meet Sunday and Monday in Dallas. Among other items on the agenda is a discussion on expansion but not necessarily a resolution.
In the rabid speculation that has raged since July, delaying a decision has hardly been mentioned. But one source said, if it goes that way, a resolution on expansion may not come until at least after Christmas.
Another said there would be no surprise Monday “if this is not going to have a lid put on it yet.”
It would make sense that ESPN and FOX would absolutely pay off the Big 12 in order to remove the clause that allow any new members to receive the same amount the current members. So, at the end of the day, the same thing that happened when the Big 12 lost Nebraska, Missouri, Texas A&M and Colorado, this was really as a result of television interference, whether it be the Longhorn Network or now the networks balking at paying a less than favorable expansion candidate.