UConn ready for next stage

For better or worse, for richer or poorer, the University of Connecticut and 10 other schools have begun the next step in determining their athletic future. According to sources familiar with the process, UConn officials will meet with Big 12 officials in Dallas this week on Thursday.

Interviews with 11 schools were expected to begin Tuesday, although only three or four schools are regarded as prime candidates. UConn, along with Houston, Cincinnati and BYU are the front runners, although BYU reportedly will only be considered as a football only member, and even that is regarded as a long shot.

The schools who have been invited to Dallas, reportedly include Air Force, Colorado State, BYU, Tulane, SMU, Rice Houston, Cincinnati, UConn, UCF and USF.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

The presentations should be concluded by the end of the week or early next week. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his staff are then expected to decide on a final list of schools to give to the Big 12 Presidents for consideration when they meet next month. Houston, Cincinnati and UConn are expected to be the final contenders for two spots.

The Presidents will either choose two schools or vote not to expand, which would go against the recommendation of Bowlsby who feels the Big 12's best chance to stay relevant among the Power 5 conference schools is to expand to 12 schools and create a conference championship game with two divisions of six schools.[/membership]