Big 12 needs to become the BIG 12 again

Here's my first question of the day. How much water do you have to add to lemonade before it simply becomes lemon-flavored water?

Word has it that the Big 12 has 17 schools that it will talk to about joining the conference. The list goes from Carolina (East) to California (San Diego State). It goes into the Northeast (Temple) into Florida and into the heart of the Midwest (Northern Illinois) Power 5 conference? [membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Here's my next question. Are you guys kidding? Bigger, in this case, is not better. I wonder if anyone has thought through the process, l like discussing how to put the logistics together for an East Carolina at Iowa State women's volleyball game.

One of the problems is that this expansion show is being run by the Presidents and they are so politically correct that they are afraid of offending anyone who asks to become a member.

And most times they get involved in sports issues they screw it up.

And they won't admit--at least publicly and perhaps privately--that all of this is dictated by money, football and television, which are the cornerstones of big time college athletics.

Here's what should be obvious to everyone involved. The Big 12 needs to get back to 12 schools, with two six team divisions and a conference championship game.

And that is it. No more.

What is also obvious is that the talent pool for the additional schools is very, very shallow, which is why ESPN and Fox (the Big 12's television partners) are not thrilled with the idea of paying for more inventory.

Since it is strictly a football issue, the Big 12 should focus on the best possible way to increase their value.

Again, that is an obvious answer. The two best "Football'' friendly schools right now are BYU and Houston.

Both schools have issues which has complicated the process. Both schools can work out those issues if the Presidents ignore the outside chatter and focus on the tasks at hand.

Football. Television. Money.

The solution is simple: Add BYU in football only.

Add Houston in all sports and close the door. 12 teams 2 divisions.

You have added one school in BYU, which has a national reputation and a national championship. You have added Houston which gives you another Top 10 program (at least for now) and gives you more exposure in a solid television market..

Oh, the screams about adding a school for football only will be loud. So will the LGBT issues. But the television people won't mind that much and the additional money will silence most of the other critics.

Adding Houston will not please the other FB coaches, who have to recruit the Houston area and do not want to give Houston an extra recruiting chip. But the Presidents have never paid much attention to the football coaches.

There will be legitimate complaints that the conference will have five schools from Texas (Houston, Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech and Texas) . But the conference has always been tilted towards Texas because the University of Texas generally gets what it wants.

Oklahoma will serve as a buffer, but again the extra money will quiet most people and it gives you two more schools who could at least be in the discussion when Top 10 contenders are being mentioned.

Making those two moves would keep the Big 12 as a PLAYER in the Power 5 group. It would give the conference additional exposure and income at a minimum cost.

It could all be wrapped up by Labor Day for a Sept. 2017 start.

Will it happen? Probably not. The Presidents think they know better. They don't want to offend their friends. And, if it is mishandled--a very strong possibility--the Big 12 could be downgraded in status as quickly as it adds schools.

Or perhaps even worse, it will do nothing, as the sharks from the other conferences surround it. [/membership]