Yesterday the West region got under way and we saw Colorado State and Boise State get the wins to move on to the second round. The duo received 42% of the vote. Now Colorado State faces Houston and Boise State pairs up against BYU. Those matchups will be posted Monday. Today the East region starts with UCF vs UConn and USF vs East Carolina.
(4) UCF vs (5) UConn
University of Central Florida
Enrollment: 60, 821
Endowment: $155.5 Million
TV Market: Greater Orlando area, 2.1 million population
While UCF didn't win a single game last year, they have had recent success. The Knights went 12-1 in 2013 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. UCF has just over 60,000 students enrolled which would put them at the top of the Big 12 if they were to be added. The Orlando market would also be a nice addition for the Big 12 when it comes to TV numbers, it's the 3rd highest populated area in Florida. UCF seems like a great candidate for expansion.
University of Connecticut
Endowment: $436.9 Million
TV Market: Greater Hartford area, 1.2 million population
First off, UConn is pretty far away. We used to think Ames and Morgantown was far but Storrs, Connecticut is way out there. UConn does have a nice endowment for a public university though and it is a solid academic institute. The Huskies are a basketball powerhouse and the women's team is almost unstoppable. For basketball they'd be an amazing addition. For football though, UConn hasn't had a winning season since 2010 which ended in them losing to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. I believe UConn has an outside shot of being added.
(3) USF vs (6) East Carolina
University of South Florida
Endowment: $417 million
TV Market: Tampa-St. Petersburg, 2.8 million population
Like UCF, South Florida has a great student enrollment number. USF would be right up there with Texas in terms of enrollment numbers. USF also has a nice endowment and the Tampa area would open up a new market for the Big 12. The population of the area is one of the highest in the state. The Bulls have had their ups and downs on the field recently but they finished last season 8-5. They also added some big time recruits in the last few days. If I had to chose, USF would be up there with UCF for schools I'd want to add.
Endowment: $188 Million
TV Market: Greenville, NC, 89,000 population
East Carolina is located in Greenville, NC which is about 85 miles east of Raleigh. It's in a bit of a dead zone, Raleigh is the closest "big city" to Greenville. Even though it's in a bit of a random area, that doesn't mean it can't be a candidate. Lubbock is in the middle of nowhere and has done just fine. The Pirates have had some decent seasons lately but went 5-7 last year. It seems like a bit of a long shot for ECU to be added but they could be a darkhorse in the expansion talks.