And Then There Were Four: Mock Big 12 Expansion Part 2

Houston linebacker Steven Taylor, left, sacks Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Cincinnati. Houston won 40-16. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)

Six schools made the cut to be considered for The Daily Campus sports section’s mock Big 12 expansion last week. As our group of school students convened Sunday night, the big decisions began. In order to make this as realistic as possible, actual Big 12 voting guidelines were followed, meaning that an expansion candidate would need eight votes to join the conference. Schools first selected potential expansion candidates under the impression that the conference would expand to 14 schools, selecting four prospective schools. Later this week, the two schools that would make the cut if the Big 12 went to 12 universities will be announced. For now, check out which schools would round out a 14-team Big 12.

The clock struck midnight for two schools Sunday night as the Big 12 presidents cut the expansion list down to four schools as outsiders SMU and Rice were kicked out of the ball. After sneaking in to the final six, SMU and Rice will not be joining UConn, Cincinnati, Houston and BYU in potential Big 12 glory.

The Big 12 school presidents had another tough set of meetings and deliberations late Sunday night as they had to cut down the list of prospect schools to four. Out of the six schools, Rice received only one vote and SMU finished fifth with four.

Rice was considered the major outsider coming into this round of voting and those predictions held true, with the lone vote coming solely for the hope of adding a strong academic school to the 14-team Big 12. The Mustangs finished fifth in the rankings, garnering votes due to their proximity to the rest of the conference and the large Dallas television market.

Cincinnati led the voting with 10 votes and UConn finished second with nine. BYU and Houston both finished with eight votes.

Out of the four schools left, Houston is leading the pack in current football prestige as they were  ranked No.6 in the last set of rankings and are a perfect 4-0. UConn (2-2) will travel down Houston this Thursday as the Cougars are given a 95.6 percent chance to win according to ESPN’s football power index matchup predictor.

Cincinnati is currently first in the American Athletic East, as they have a 3-1 record, while UConn sits in second in the East. Independent BYU is 1-3, with their lone win versus Arizona. 

The next Big 12 vote will be tomorrow as the presidents will vote for two schools that they want to join the conference.

Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at