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The Foolproof Solution for Big 12 Expansion

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This may be a little out there, but it's a very intriguing idea.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 expansion, it seems like every week there's a new headline regarding it. Last week there were reports that 18 schools had contacted the conference about expansion, but now that number is up to 20.

That my friends is a lot of schools. It got me to thinking pretty radically about Big 12 expansion. The English Premier League started up last week and that also led to my delusional plan for expansion. Try to bare with me on this and let me know what you think in the comments. Also, this is a football-only setup. The Big 12 would need to decide how to add teams for all other sports.

How many teams to add to the Big 12?

14. Yes, add 14 teams to the Big 12. This puts the conference at 24 total schools.

Who to add to the Big 12?

The teams to add: Cincinnati, BYU, Houston, East Carolina, UConn, Tulane, UCF, USF, Memphis, Colorado State, Air Force, SMU, Boise State, and Temple. Sorry San Diego State, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, UNLV, Rice and Arkansas State.

What about divisions?

With 24 teams, the Big 12 would be divided into a Big 12 A division and a Big 12 B division. The current 10 schools along with Cincinnati and BYU would form Big 12 A and the remaining 12 would form Big 12 B. Big 12 A would represent Power 5 affiliation and Big 12 B would be considered the Group of 5. Below is what the conference would look like.

Big 12 A
Big 12 B

Baylor

Air Force

BYU

Boise State

Cincinnati

Central Florida

Iowa State

Colorado State

Kansas

Connecticut

Kansas State

East Carolina

Oklahoma

Houston

Oklahoma State

Memphis

TCU

SMU

Texas

South Florida

Texas Tech

Temple

West Virginia

Tulane

Can schools be realigned between Big 12 A and Big 12 B?

I'm glad you asked and yes there will be realignment between the two divisions. Relegation will happen every 2 years. The bottom two schools in Big 12 A will be demoted to Big 12 B and the top two teams from Big 12 B will be promoted to Big 12 A.

So how is relegation decided, what would a conference schedule look like?

There would be a point system to determine relegation. Below you'll see how the system would work.

Types of Wins Points Earned
FCS Opponent 1
Non Power 5 2
Power 5 3
Big 12 B 3
Big 12 A 4
Bowl Game 5
New Years 6 Bowl 6
College Football Playoff 7
National Championship 15

The points accumulate over a two season span which will make it less likely schools end up with the same amount of points. For ties, see the conference title game tie-breaker rules below.

For non-conference play, each school would be required to play one Power 5 team. Big 12 play would consist of 9 games. Four games against Big 12 A teams, four games against Big 12 B schools and one flex game that can be against either a Big 12 A or B school.

What about a conference title game?

The top 2 schools in Big 12 A with the most points earned throughout the season would play each other in the Big 12 title game. If two schools have the same number of points, it'd go to head-to-head record. If the two did not play in the season, it would go off of average point differential. If it's still tied after that, it would go to a good ol' coin flip. If multiple schools are tied in points, repeat the above.

So how exactly would this look?

Below I have generated schedules for Oklahoma (top ranking), Texas Tech, and Kansas (bottom ranking). I used the 2017 non-conference schedules that are already set and added what a Big 12 schedule would look like.

*Oklahoma plays Tulane and Texas Tech plays Houston already in 2017. I added Tulsa to Oklahoma's schedule and Texas State to Tech's*

Oklahoma Texas Tech Kansas
UTEP E. Washington SE Missouri
Ohio State Arizona State Central Michigan
Tulane (B) Houston (B) Ohio
West Virginia (A) Texas State Kansas State (A)
Tulsa UCF West Virginia (A)
BYU (A) Iowa State (A) TCU (A)
UConn (B) TCU (A) Temple (B)
Baylor (A) Boise State (B) Memphis (B)
Texas (A) Kansas State (A) Baylor (A)
SMU (B) Oklahoma State (A) Houston (B)
East Carolina (B) Air Force (B) USF (B)
Cincinnati (A) Texas (A) UConn (B)

As you can see, each school has 4 Big 12 A games and 4 Big 12 B games. Along with those conference games they each have a flex game with either an A or B school.

How does the point system work with the above schedule?

Below are hypothetical results for the hypothetical schedules I created. Notice how much the different wins are worth.

Oklahoma W/L Points Texas Tech W/L Points Kansas W/L Points
UTEP W: 2 E. Washington W: 1 SE Missouri W: 1
Ohio State L: 0 Arizona State W: 3 Central Michigan W: 2
Tulane (B) W: 3 Houston (B) W: 3 Ohio W: 2
West Virginia (A) W: 4 Texas State W: 2 Kansas State (A) L: 0
Tulsa W: 2 UCF (B) W: 3 West Virginia (A) L: 0
BYU (A) W: 4 Iowa State (A) W: 4 TCU (A) L: 0
UConn (B) W: 3 TCU (A) L: 0 Temple (B) L: 0
Baylor (A) W: 4 Boise State (B) W: 3 Memphis (B) L: 0
Texas (A) W: 4 Kansas State (A) W: 4 Baylor (A) L: 0
SMU (B) W: 3 Oklahoma State (A) L: 0 Houston (B) L: 0
East Carolina (B) W: 3 Air Force (B) W: 3 USF (B) L: 0
Cincinnati (A) W: 4 Texas (A) L: 0 UConn (B) W: 3
CFP Game W: 7 Bowl Game W: 5

Season Totals

Oklahoma (13-1, 9-0) won a CFP game. 43 Total Points for the season

Texas Tech (10-3, 6-3) won a bowl game. 31 Total Points for the season

Kansas (4-8, 1-8) no bowl game. 8 Total Points for the season

What do these points mean?

It looks like for a season the 40 point range will be at the top of the Big 12 A rankings. It's likely that 25-30 points would be middle of the pack and the 10 point range will be the bottom of the rankings. So let's say after two seasons Iowa State and Kansas have accumulated 17 and 16 points and they're the bottom two schools of Big 12 A. On the Big 12 B side of things Houston and Boise State have racked up 61 and 60 points over two seasons to be 1st and 2nd in the B division. Kansas and Iowa State would be demoted to Big 12 B and Houston along with Boise State would be promoted to Big 12 A. The points would then reset for the next two-year cycle.

Final Thoughts

I know this is extremely elaborate but this setup would be very intriguing. European soccer has been doing this for a long time now and things are going pretty well for them. Do you like it, hate it or what's your idea for expansion?