Expansion talk is really heating up for the Big 12 with reports that Florida State is knocking on the door, as is ACC partner Clemson.
On Wednesday morning in Lubbock, TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte clued in, perhaps rather inadvertently, about 200 Red Raiders fans at a breakfast event called Committee for Champions, that Miami might also be up to some relocation reconnaissance with an eye on the Big 12. Of course, TCU and West Virginia join the league this year to keep it at 10 teams with the departures of Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC.
This bit of news came via Chris Level, a talk radio show host in Lubbock who tweeted Del Conte's comments this morning. The Frogs' AD said that the Big 12 -- which not too long ago was on life support -- now has schools like FSU, Clemson and Miami trying to get in.
A TCU spokesman said the context of Del Conte's comments were in reference to the recent rumor-mill activity and that this time around teams are not wanting to depart the league but rather join it. The spokesman said in no way was Del Conte confirming any such interest from any particular school or schools.
The Big 12 added clout to its name in recent days when it dropped a blockbuster on the college football scene with the announcement of a partnership with the SEC for the two conference's football champs to play in an annual bowl game starting after the 2014 when a four-team playoff is expected to replace the current BCS.
Conference power brokers such as Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds have remained consistent in suggesting the preference is to remain a 10-team conference (all the fewer schools to share the TV money pie). Incoming commissioner Bob Bowlsby has said that he will remain vigilant when it comes to expansion but won't rush it.
It certainly does appear that the Big 12, twice left for dead, is back in a power position and could soon have difficult choices to make as to the size of their league and the members they want.