IRVING, Texas — Big 12 athletic directors spent several hours Monday discussing the pros and cons of maintaining their 10-team configuration or eventually making additions to the conference — or maybe doing something in between.
League commissioner Bob Bowlsby repeated what he has said before “that our current composition is terrific for us” but the ADs went through plenty of “what-if” scenarios to be prepared for any eventuality in what has been an ongoing shift of conference affiliations. The Big 12 has lost four members to other leagues while adding West Virginia and TCU.
“I think we did gravitate around some principles that will guide us going forward and I think we created some filters that we all agreed on,” Bowlsby said after the first day of their regular scheduled two-day meeting. “I think there was a fair amount of unanimity in the room.”
Among the possibilities is an alliance with other conferences, including the ACC, and Bowlsby said there appears to be unanimous support for the idea.
“We talked about those kinds of things, and I think there are some ways that you can get some of the benefits and some of the value of larger configuration without actually adding members,” Bowlsby said. “We spent a good portion of the late afternoon talking about how that all fit together and how it worked.”
Bowlsby didn’t get into specifics and wouldn’t say what other conferences could be in the mix. Pac-12 and SEC officials have indicated they have had no such discussions with the Big 12.
All the Big 12 athletic directors agreed to defer questions to Bowlsby, but several seemed encouraged by their discussions when asked what was accomplished.
The primary items on Tuesday’s agenda are football scheduling and bowl alliances.
Their first day was reserved for discussing the makeup of the league, and Bowlsby said that was “talked completely through for about three hours.” Bowlsby said there were a whole bunch of different financial and geographical and scheduling possibilities discussed.