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Big 12 watch: Candidate football power rankings; Why cutting Memphis might mean no expansion

Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (7)  greets fans in Phoenix on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. BYU leads 9-0 at half. BYU won 18-16.
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (7) greets fans in Phoenix on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. BYU leads 9-0 at half. BYU won 18-16.
Jeffrey D. Allred,

While Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby didn't have much to say about the subject, there was plenty of information and speculation about Big 12 expansion over the long weekend.

Jason Kirk of SB Nation is doing a power rankings of Big 12 expansion candidates based on how they perform on the gridiron during the 2016 football season. He splits the rankings into two sections, "The Sadness Zone," for the nine teams on the outside looking in and, "The Happiness Zone," for the top two teams.

BYU landed in "The Happiness Zone" ranked at No. 2 after its win over Arizona.

While talking about the Cougars, he writes, "Beating Arizona in Arizona shines the Power Rankings résumé, but know what might boost the actual résumé for real? Cougars fans outnumbering Wildcats in the stands, not that it's a surprise."

Houston topped the list after a big win over Oklahoma.


Forbes contributor Kristi Dosh shares why Memphis being eliminated from consideration could mean there might not be expansion after all.

Discussing the financial situation for Memphis with the support of FedEx, she writes, "In other words, Memphis could settle for a smaller share of Big 12 revenue and FedEx would cover ensure the athletic department was still in good shape."

She continues, "If you’re someone who believes the Big 12 is only expanding in order to line the pockets of current members, you might think those letters made Memphis a shoo-in."

She then focuses on reports of what the Big 12 is looking for by quoting ESPN's Brett McMurphy, who said the conference "is more interested in teams that can strengthen and add value to the league as opposed to schools that need to be ‘propped up’ by the league.” Dosh followed that up by saying, "Well, if that’s the standard, I don’t think the Big 12 will be expanding at all."

She explains her stance by looking at the athletic budgets for each school and institutional subsidies (of which Memphis is last), saying, " In other words, Memphis needs to be 'propped up' the least of any of the public schools the Big 12 is considering."

After mentioning how some of the schools still being considered are ranked as some of the highest in the country when it comes to subsidy she closes by saying, "So, if the Big 12′s standard is going to be adding institutions that don’t need to be 'propped up,' it doesn’t look like the conference should expand at all."

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.