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Big 12 mailbag: The expansion, stupid!

Well, we set a record for Big 12 Twitter mailbag submissions this week. And the major topics were Iowa State's offensive line, Baylor's nonconference schedule and Oklahoma State's backup quarterback battle.

Just kidding.

On to another expansion edition of the 'bag:

Trotter: There are no "locks" at this point. Anyone who tells you differently doesn't have good information. My sense is there seems to be a little more momentum for 14 than there was maybe a week ago, but it's just too soon to tell where this is headed.

Trotter: Yes. Nobody is leaving the Big Ten or the SEC, where they print money for a living, and the ACC has a grant of rights now through 2036. That leaves the Big 12 and Pac-12 as the most vulnerable leagues to a superconference scenario, though the Pac-12 is a little bit insulated on the West Coast. The SEC would never go after USC or Oregon. But it could certainly one day grab Oklahoma.

Trotter: That theory has been floated, and though it makes sense, I really don't believe that's what's happening. As of at least last week, I know for a fact Oklahoma and Texas were operating in good faith behind closed doors in order to keep the Big 12 together. The pro-rata money certainly is a massive benefit of expansion. But I'm skeptical that the Red River schools are simply out to make a short-term money grab with current plans of bailing at the end of the grant of rights.

Trotter: It totally depends which schools the Big 12 adds. But North and South or East and West seems, by far, most feasible.

Trotter: BYU easily has the best uniform of any expansion candidate. Tulane's new look, though, is pretty sharp.

Trotter: I was telling someone this week that the Big 12 should expand by four just so it can change its name to "Big 14." The Big 12 name has been dragged through the mud these last five years to the point the league ought to consider changing the name of the conference altogether. The Big 12 could use a rebranding, which is another reason why any expansion move could do the conference some good.

Trotter: BYU doesn't want this, and the Big 12 doesn't want this. But can the two sides resolve the Sunday issue? This is not an insignificant thing. I would like to think that if the Big 12 really wanted BYU, and BYU really wanted the Big 12, the two could work it out to give the Cougars full membership. Would it be a hassle for the conference? No doubt. But I think the Big 12 could and -- if it wants BYU -- should make it work.

Trotter: I would say less than 1, but greater than 0.

Trotter: Houston, BYU and Cincinnati should all feel reasonably optimistic about their chances in the event of a two-team expansion. Everyone else should be rooting hard for four.

Trotter: You're better than this.

Trotter: Wanting something to be done by a certain date and being able to pull it off are two very different things. I wanted to have this mailbag done by 3 -- and, well...

Trotter: In theory, it doesn't hurt. But is anyone in New York or Boston going to be watching Big 12 football on a regular basis if UConn is invited into the league?

Trotter: I've seen the speculation that this could turn into a reverse auction, but I really don't think that's what will happen. The Big 12 will want its new members to feel like actual members, contribute to the strength of the conference and grow their programs. Gutting their TV revenue completely would go a long way toward doing the opposite. Will the new schools have to take partial distribution for several years? Absolutely. But I've been led to believe this notion of new members getting, say, just $2 million of their $25 million for several years cut is not what the Big 12 will do. By the way, that's what makes Memphis interesting in all this. The Tigers have indicated that FedEx would be willing to cover whatever Memphis would get in partial distribution through the end of the contract, which would give the current Big 12 members extra money while still allowing Memphis to have the cash to grow. I think this could be more of an advantage for Memphis' candidacy than FedEx pledging to sponsor the title game.

Trotter: What do you want? For OU to go to the SEC? Even if it means possibly giving up the rivalries with Texas and Oklahoma State, being a smaller fish in a bigger pond and tasked with having to beat Alabama, LSU, Auburn, etc., every year just to have a shot at the CFP. I get the allure of the SEC from the OU perspective. But I don't think most OU fans ever fully consider the ramifications of what an SEC jump would truly mean. The grass is always greener ...

Trotter: Zero. I was in the French Quarter for New Year's Eve a couple years ago. One time was enough. I'm getting too old.

Trotter:  You've got a long ways to go, buddy.