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. After hours of long debate and voting, the mock Big 12 expansion crew selected its top two candidates, bringing the Big 12 back to 12 actual teams.
Now it is down to two. After the final round of deliberations by the Big 12 Presidents, the 10 universities decided to add the University of Connecticut and the University of Houston to the conference. Out of the final four schools, UConn, Houston, Cincinnati and BYU, the Huskies received seven first place votes and the Cougars received five.
Both of these schools will be joining the Big 12 conference which will add prestige and money to these two already stellar institutions. The Big 12 conference is part of the power five conferences in NCAA sports as they have enjoyed recent success in both football and basketball.
Although they have had recent success, there has been a drought in championships as of late as Kansas won the basketball championship in 2008 and Texas won the BCS championship in 2005. The Big 12’s most recent championship came in swimming & diving and softball as Texas and Oklahoma brought home the silverware, respectively. Since 1997, the conference has won 625 individual championships, 54 team championships, as Oklahoma State and Texas lead all time with 52 team championships.
The two universities are no stranger to national championships, with Houston (17) and UConn (21) winning 38 team championships as of 2015, with 15 of the 21 championships coming from women’s programs. UConn and Houston will add great basketball programs and exceptional women’s programs as well as sterling academics.
The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is preseason No.1 this year while the men’s is preseason No. 23. The University of Houston in football is currently 4-0 and No.6 in the college football rankings as they will play UConn this Thursday on ESPN.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org