Outside of a few comments from Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, all has been quiet from the Big 12 side of things regarding the conference possibly expanding.
The question is surely going to come up, however, as administrators make their rounds in public. Such was the case for Iowa State's athletic director during ISU' spring tailgate tour.
So, what it's going to be? Is the Big 12 going back to 12 teams or not?
“Right now, we are very committed to a 10-member league for a lot of reasons,” Pollard said. “Our heads aren’t buried in the sand. If we need to expand, we’ll expand. But we’re not looking to expand. It’s fascinating to hear all this chatter. It’s clearly driven on their end. It’s a nice position to be in when somebody is trying to dance with you. But we’re fine being just who we are.”
What are we left to do but break out the tea leaves to try and figure out what it may or may not mean.
"If we need to expand, we'll expand."
Well, the Big 12 might never "need" to expand. It has 10 teams. Maybe not ideal is some aspects, but it works.
From a football standpoint with the additions of West Virginia and TCU, the Big 12 is as deep as any conference in the country. And with the nine game conference schedule, whoever wins the Big 12 figures to at least be in running for a shot at playing for the national title in most seasons, and maybe even more so when a four-team playoff becomes reality.
Who knows what is truly going on behind-the-scenes, but one has to figure that if Florida State is sincere in their desire to join the Big 12, the conference might suddenly find the "need to expand" - as Pollard puts it - happening sooner than most expected.
The Big 12 can afford to slow play adding teams such as Louisville and BYU because their options will likely be limited. Florida State is a different story entirely. Even with the lack of recent success, they're still a very big fish in the college football world and they also happen to be in one of the most fertile recruiting territories in the country.
They'll be wanted. And the Big 12 can't afford to pass up such a big name if truly has its eyes set on expanding in the future. They might not want to do it now, but Florida State isn't going to be available forever if they decide the ACC is no longer a good fit.
"It’s clearly driven on their end. It’s a nice position to be in when somebody is trying to dance with you."
That's how these things work. Conferences don't want to be accused of dismantling other leagues (hey, we weren't even looking to expand - wink, wink) and Florida State leaving the ACC (and maybe bringing a friend along for the ride) would certainly be a huge blow to the conference. The Big 12 will wait. If Florida State wants in, the Big 12 will listen and off we go.
Where's all this going? As I mentioned yesterday, nobody knows just yet. But people are talking and that means anything is possible.