Remember way back, when conference realignment and expansion, the big guys gobbling up the little guys to form mega-conferences, was all the rage?
Wait … that was less than two years ago?
Indeed, those anxious days have moved from the forefront to the backburner to the rearview, and apparently now into the history books. At least if you ask the Big 12 and, unfortunately, BYU.
Cougars head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, whose team plays as an independent, reportedly said he wants BYU to join the Big 12. But according to an ESPN report, with record revenue and a conference schedule which is "absolutely great," the conference has no intentions of adding BYU — or any other school for that matter.
Speaking from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention in Orlando, Fla., Kansas State’s athletic director John Currie and West Virginia AD Oliver Luck both told ESPN the Big 12 has not had any discussions about expansion, and it does not plan to do so.
"Expansion is one thing we’re not talking about," Luck told ESPN.
"We see how strong and productive our league is with 10 members. The camaraderie is really good," Currie added.
It is a far cry from the frenzied realignment years of 2010-13 that saw longtime rivals jump ship to new conferences, ultimately leading to the end of the Big East, and leaving the Big 12 fearing it could be next for quite some time.
Instead, the Big 12 now sits at 10 teams — a figure that allows for a nine-game conference football schedule in which every league team plays one another, and an 18-game, home-and-home schedule which accomplishes the same thing in basketball.
But in explaining his happiness with that ‘Perfect 10,’ did Luck take a shot at BYU’s worthiness (or lack thereof) of conference membership?
"Our denominator is 10," said Luck, the father of Colts QB Andrew Luck. "The more you split it up … I don’t think we can find a partner who’s available right now to stay at the value we have (per school) or let alone increase what we have. That’s the consensus we have (staying at 10)."