Bob Bowlsby, new commissioner of the Big 12 Conference

Big 12 Expansion: Clemson's Dabo Swinney Says School Is '1,000 Percent Committed To ACC'

New Big 12 commish Bob Bowlsby provides a new foundation that could lead to expansion.

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Big 12 Expansion: Clemson's Dabo Swinney Says School Is '1,000 Percent Committed To ACC'

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney might be mathematically challenged, but one thing he’s not is wishy-washy. In recent comments made by Swinney to the media about the long-swirling rumors of potential Big 12 interest on the part of Clemson, Swinney came out with a direct statement of support for the school’s current conference home in the ACC.

"I think there has been a lot of irresponsible blogging and reporting whatever you want to call it," Swinney said. "We live in this world (where) somebody hears something from the guy in the third stall down and it’s like, ‘OK it’s fact.’ It’s so far from reality it’s not even funny. We’re 1,000 percent committed to the ACC."

Swinney also called the move the “worst thing” the school could do, according to Travis Sawchik’s Post & Courier report. Of course, the coach will not have much input one way or the other about this, and he’s supposed to hold the line at this point. Still, when a school is committed at 1,000 percent, well, what else can they do?

For the latest on Big 12 expansion, be sure to check back at SB Nation Kansas City.


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Big 12 Expansion And The Kansas Jayhawks

Big 12 expansion has been a hot topic in recent weeks. What is the impact on Kansas if the league looks to the East and expands to 12, 14 or even 16 teams.

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Big 12 Expansion Rumors: Florida State Admired, Not Pursued, By Big 12 Officials

Depending on those moves at the greater NCAA level concerning bowl games and a playoff system, conferences will then either stay the same or begin to shift in power to adjust to the new postseason structure in college football.

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Big 12 Expansion Rumors: Clemson, Not Florida State, Most Open To Leaving ACC

As the Big 12 spring meetings get underway this week in Kansas City, there are a myriad of subjects that will be broached by those in attendance. Only one will likely be focused upon to any great degree: possible conference expansion. As rumors run rampant connecting several schools to the Big 12, the conference first has to decide if they’re even up for increasing from its current number of 10 schools.

If they do decide that expansion is the answer, speculation will run rampant about ACC schools in particular. Miami, Clemson and Florida State have all been named as possible candidates, but the only one even leaving a possibility open at this point in terms of public comment is Clemson. Clemson board chairman David Wilkins recently left the door open with a statement.

“We’ve not had any contact from any league,” Wilkins said.. “If we receive a viable option, a viable proposal, that is presented to us by any league, we will consider it.”

Other schools are taking a we’re-confident-in-the-ACC approach that still doesn’t necessarily mean anything one way or the other. However, it’s interesting that Clemson is at least open to the suggestion and acknowledging that movement is a real possibility.

The first step will be the Big 12’s willingness to open its doors or leave them shut. Much of that will be discussed by the conference powers-that-be this week.

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Big 12 Expansion Rumors: Chuck Neinas Says 'Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better'

While the rumors are running rampant that everyone from Clemson and Florida State to Miami and Notre Dame might be interested in possibly joining the Big 12, the reality is that the conference itself hasn’t even stated that it’s interested in moving beyond anything in the current 10-team structure that it has. With the losses of Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC, the conference made moves to gain West Virginia and TCU. It’s a selection of teams that everyone in power — new commissioner Bob Bowlsby and interim Chuck Neinas — insist they are fine with.

Yet the move to bring the Big 12 and the SEC together with a bowl partnership in recent weeks has brought speculation that the two conferences will become the new powers in college football, which likely means that schools will try to jump on the Big 12 side of things given their current size of 10 versus the SEC’s 14.

“People have to understand that bigger is not necessarily better,” Neinas said. “What we are trying to do, in view of what has transpired in the past, is to build unity. We have two new members. Let the membership be comfortable with each other before they ever consider going forward.

“We’ve taken care of the contentious issues. We have a very workable solution. Let’s build on that, then down the road maybe think of expansion. But to automatically run off and say, they’re going to go to 12 or 14 or whatever — that does not take into account where this conference was, where we’ve come from and where we need to go.”

It’s interesting that Neinas continues to speak at all for the conference when he’s clearly on his way out and this will be Bowlsby’s fight to take on. Yet Bowlsby will have to adjust to the job and all of that takes time. It’s likely that while rumors continue to churn, the reality will be the same as it is now in one or even three months from now.

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Big 12 Showdown: Texas' DeLoss Dodds Slants New Commish Bob Bowlsby With Statement

Florida State President Eric Barron insists the rumors are ridiculous. Now someone from the Big 12's side is saying the same. In short, both sides of a rumored relationship between the Big 12 and Florida State are coming out saying everything you've heard is incorrect.

But one story getting lost in the shuffle is who is doing the talking. Note the following:

DeLoss Dodds? Why is he saying a word? The Big 12 just brought in Bob Bowlsby to helm the conference as their new long-term commissioner after Chuck Neinas' tenure was finished. Bowlsby answered questions publicly when he was recently introduced about Texas and its pull in the conference. His reponse?

"I guess I would just suggest that you do a little more homework on me," Bowlsby said. "I haven't been very good at being a puppet over the years."

In short, the shove from Bowlsby to Texas officials was felt and they wanted to use this chance to publicly push back. Instead of allowing Bowlsby and his staff from conference headquarters to speak up about the expansion rumors, Dodds took it on himself to speak on behalf of the conference. Again, another reason to believe that Texas runs things despite statements made to the contrary.

It will be interesting to see in coming weeks just who says what coming out of the Big 12 and whether or not Bowlsby has any more public posturing in store for the Longhorns. If Bowlsby thought he could set the record straight at his presser and have that be the end of it, he's a bit less prepared than believed for the job.

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Big 12 Expansion: Florida State's President Eric Barron Issues Official Statement On Rumors

After short statements, deflective comments and rampant rumors, the President of Florida State University has released a comprehensive response to the buzz around the school’s potential interest in a move to the Big 12. It’s a move on FSU’s part to frame the conversation.

Eric Barron released a complete letter through Sports Illustrated for the public to realize the complete position of the university. Here’s one particular part, perhaps most important, about the monetary discrepancy between the Big 12 and ACC payouts:

Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which hasn’t been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship game), we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to most games the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other new team to the Big 12.

You can find the complete statement here.

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Big 12 Expansion Rumors Include Louisville, Florida State As Next Targets

Several months ago, the names thrown around included Cincinnati, Louisville and Brigham Young among others? Now it's Clemson and Florida State. While the Big 12 lost Missouri and Texas A&M while gaining TCU and West Virginia, the conference was also dealing with perceived issues of stability. Not anymore. Instead, the conference is positioning itself as an inviting place to be -- and certain programs like Louisville are already jockeying for position.

Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports recently looked through the fog of rumors and came up with his favorites. He believes that Florida State and Louisville are at the top list of contenders and if the Big 12 is going to expand, it will start with those names.

Everything is only a rumor at this point, but remember that last year Missouri to SEC rumors were abounding at the same rate. It starts with a fire and proceeds from there. The Big 12 is the most obvious conference to expand and a solid base of 10 gives them room to add one to four schools as they see fit.

Read more about about this story as it develops at our StoryStream.


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Florida State To Big 12 Rumors: FSU President Sounds Open Despite Talks Of 'Misinformation'

The saying reads “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” But in the 24/7 sports news cycle, there’s often a lot of smoke thrown out there by media types trying to get a leg up on the competition and create some news where there isn’t any. Thus, it’s easy to believe either side about Florida State’s reported interest in joining the Big 12.

The ACC currently holds two of the biggest acquisitions the Big 12 could make in Clemson and Florida State. Both schools would add great markets for the Big 12 to reach into as well as schools with great fan bases and tradition.

Yet the word from Florida State is mixed at this time, with some quotes trying to quell the rumors while others open the door slightly. The latest word from FSU President Eric Barron reads like the latter:

Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University’s athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong.

If you are truly committed to the ACC, then there’s no need to place a line in that statement about being open to options. That’s what a commitment is — despite the options. To say words about a commitment being strong right after saying you’re open to options is to lie about one side or the other. Given the rest of the smoke, it’s not hard to guess where this is going.

Read more about about this story as it develops at our StoryStream.


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Big 12 Expansion: New Commissioner Bob Bowlsby Calls It An 'Ongoing Consideration'

It didn’t take long for Bob Bowlsby to address the bigger issues facing the Big 12 as he takes over as commissioner after Chuck Neinas served in an interim role during a tenuous time. As the Big 12 faces competition from bigger conferences like the SEC, the possibility of expansion is going to be something many ask him about — and it’s something he says it an “ongoing consideration” as he heads into the job.

The conference lost Texas A&M and Missouri to the SEC coming up for the 2012-13 season, but they gained TCU and West Virginia. Still the conference is ripe for further expansion from its current 10-team format, especially as others beef up to 14 or more teams. Bowlsby addressed it from his introductory press conference:

“Expansion will be an ongoing consideration for us. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk with all of the presidents about this issue, and I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to all but a couple of the athletic directors. I certainly am not going to presume a direction that we will go. I think, though, as you consider expansion, it has to be expansion that has, as its roots, the enhancement of the league.”

Some have mentioned schools like BYU and Louisville in the recent past as potential expansion possibilities. For now the talk has been quelled, but expect it to rise as the college football season comes nearer.

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