(WTNH)–With so many stories quoting anonymous sources and lobbying pieces floating around surrounding Big 12 expansion, it’s kind of hard to separate real news from conjecture and wishful thinking.
On Wednesday though, there appeared to be some movement on the conference’s glacier-like expansion front.
According to a report from Mark Blaudschun of TMGcollegesports.com, the Big 12 has narrowed its list of candidates to nine schools: Cincinnati, Houston, Memphis, UConn, USF, UCF, and two other unnamed AAC schools, as well as BYU.
East Carolina announced it has been eliminated from consideration:
East Carolina issues statement. Says no longer candidate for Big 12 expansion. pic.twitter.com/i9TvPRw4kE
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) August 31, 2016
The conference has been flirting with expansion since May, and is reportedly being influenced by ESPN and Fox, which own television rights to Big 12 games.
Earlier this month, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported that the league is leaning towards expanding to 12 teams, as opposed to 14.
McMurphy reports that the league hopes to make a decision by its board of directors meeting in October, and that 20 schools were scheduled to make presentations to the Big 12.
Those schools were UConn, Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, South Florida, Central Florida, Memphis, Colorado State, Boise State, Tulane, Temple, East Carolina, SMU, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, San Diego State, Arkansas State, Rice, UNLV, and Air Force, according to the report.