Does The Big 12 Need To Keep Expanding?

Jul 9, 2024, 11:28 AM

Big 12 Media Day, Brett Yormark, Big 12...

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark at Big 12 Media Days 2023 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on July 12, 2023. (Big 12 Conference Content Team)

(Big 12 Conference Content Team)

SALT LAKE CITY – College football is condensing with fewer and fewer conferences controlling all of the power. Power 4 is the new term for the ACC, Big 12, SEC, and the Big Ten.  However, it is really a Power Two with the Big Ten followed by the SEC regarding money earned. 

The Big 12 distributed $470 million to its schools this past year. New members like BYU earned $18 million and legacy members take home $44 million per school. In the future, all members will earn around $50 million per year.

The ACC is more in line with the Big 12 from this past year with payouts between $43.3 million and $46.9 million.

How can the Big 12 cement itself ahead of the ACC and attempt to narrow the gap between the top two? Adding teams means more inventory.

Big 12 Should Look To Continue Expanding West

Adding teams just because does not always equal more revenue for a conference. However, inventory and time zones matter and the Big 12 is currently in three of the four – the Arizona schools are in the Pacific Time Zone just half of the year.

Expanding big and going to both coasts and even into ACC country is an idea that Pete Fiutak of College Football News proposed when joining JJ & Alex on The KSL Sports Zone.

“If you are the Big 12 you have to keep expanding. Go get UNLV and make Las Vegas the Big 12 hub,” Fiutak said. “Go get San Diego State. What else do you got in Southern California, nothing else? There is one California program and that is San Diego State.”

Going after those non-power West Coast schools can be described as small potatoes, but they provide two permanent Pacific Time Zone teams and two with some upside.

How Does Big 12 Members Florida State, Clemson Sound?

Since geography is thrown out the window, Fiutak mentioned going for a big swing and starting a conversation with disgruntled ACC powers.

“If you are [Big 12 commissioner Brett] Yormark you have to stay active and pinging Florida State,” he said. “Clemson come to the Big 12, get out of the South part of the country.”

There are already a lot of lawyers involved with ACC teams like Florida State and Clemson suing the ACC over the grant of rights deal.

If Yormark were to provide a landing spot for those two ACC schools, it very well could cement him as the best conference commissioner.

Getting the Tigers and Seminoles likely would not put the Big 12 alongside the Big Ten and SEC in terms of a media rights deal. However, a Big 12 with those two ACC schools and the potential from what San Diego State – and to a lesser extent UNLV – would easily put the Big 12 as the third-best league by a wide margin.

College football has been condensing at the top for a few decades now, and it seems more likely than not there will be some version of a super league which will be the next evolution in the sport.

For the Big 12 to be part of what is next, Yormark needs to be aggressive and find quality teams that are unhappy with their current conference situation.

Tune into JJ & Alex every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Does The Big 12 Need To Keep Expanding?