Big XII expansion will be a talking point at the conference’s upcoming spring meetings in West Virginia. The league, which has already added UCF, Houston, BYU, and Cincinnati, is now looking to add a few more members.
A few PAC 12 programs, including former Big XII team Colorado, have been mentioned as potential targets, but the latest reports involve the nation’s top mid-major basketball school.
This, of course, comes on the heels of losing its top two brands in Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. With the loss of those two football powerhouses, the league might be shifting its focus to the hardwood.
Not only do the latest additions boast storied basketball histories, most notably Cincy and Houston, but another top target has shown its dominance in the sport over the last two decades.
Gonzaga is being considered as a potential addition according to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated.
Dellenger says that the ‘Zags are actively looking to make the transition from mid-major to the Power Five after years of dominating the West Coast Conference.
Gonzaga has made the NCAA Tournament every year since 1998, a run that includes 13 Sweet Sixteens and a pair of national championship appearances.
The addition of the Bulldogs would put the Bix XII in the conversation of top basketball conference in America. Unfortunately, some fans aren’t excited about the league adding a team without a major football program.
I don’t see how Yormark could even be contemplating schools like Gonzaga with what’s going on in the ACC. If he’s patient, more valuable schools will become available, including ones that will satisfy the basketball agenda as well — see Louisville.
— Hot Rod Era (@UT4x_champs) May 29, 2023
“Why would you consider schools that don’t have a football program?” one tweet read. “PAC 12 teams are the only ones that make sense,” another person said.
Many believe the conference should be after bigger fish.
The expansion should be laser-focused on P5 schools…only.
— Louis Oliverio (@LouisOliverio) May 29, 2023
This is just dumb, it’s expansion for expansion’s sake, how much money would Gonzaga bring to the conference if they remain good which we don’t know that they will with a much tougher conference schedule, then add to the possibility once Few leaves the program turns into DePaul.
— New era! (@kusteveh) May 30, 2023
The football concerns make sense, especially considering the league’s storied past in the sport’s landscape. Teams like Nebraska, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas won national titles in the 1990s and 2000s.
Those teams, however, have either moved on or will be gone in the very near future.
It seems the conference is shifting its focus on its way to becoming a 14- or 16-team league. We’ll see if it pays off in the future.