The Big 12 will have a conference championship game beginning in 2017. This was a unanimous decision (yes, even Texas voted for it). In addition, they will continue the round robin format but have decided to split the conference into two divisions. At this point the members of the divisions have not been announced.
Regarding expansion, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby once again made known that they will discuss it further towards the end of the summer. So for now, we wait.
One reason that people speculated expansion was on the horizon is because of money, and it seems that some of that concern may be alleviated:
The Big 12 distributed $304 million in revenue. Each school took in roughly $30.4 million. A 20 percent hike from last year.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 3, 2016
Now, it's unclear whether or not this trajectory will continue and what it will look like compared to other P-5 conferences, but that's a significant increase over the course of just one year.
Today was the day of news for the Big 12 as they will also not be pursuing a network at this time:
Boren: “the boat has sailed” with regards to creating a traditional conf network. So the vote this summer will strictly be an expansion one— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) June 3, 2016
It's almost like a bunch of rich guys went on vacation for a week and on Friday they decided to make it look like they had been working hard. Who knows, but wow, so much news in one day after months of basically nothing.
Alright, now that we have the news, let's read through the 'herbal' tea leaves on what this means for BYU.
The Good News
Simple, the Big 12 IS making changes. The conference title game was added solely to give them a competitive edge make the playoffs compared to the previous years without one.
If they're willing to make that adjustment based on wanting to make the conference better, why not also expand for the same reason?
The Bad News
Alright, this is a hard pill to swallow for BYU fans so instead of me telling you, and you being angry at me, I'll pass on the blame to Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports:
It would stand to reason that if Big 12 is doing that well financially, and now has a title game, there's no longer incentive to expand.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) June 3, 2016
A big reason the Pac-10 expanded to 12 was to get a conference championship game. It was thought that the Big 12 would follow suit but that is now out the window. There is evidence to suggest that Utah's and Colorado's addition to the PAC-12 value was only to provide a conference title game so why do it now?
Perhaps since 2011, when Jon Wilner wrote this piece, things have changed but it's certainly a blow to the expansion odds.
Also, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Given the increase of revenue, why make a drastic change? That 30.4 million distribution is now ranked 3rd, just behind the SEC and Big 10.
Counter point to that is something that Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports wrote about yesterday. Put simply, the Big 12 could reportedly gain 1 Billion dollars if they went to 14 teams. Not a financial adviser, but that sounds like a good investment.
Big 12 made a lot of decisions today but it seems that the hopes of potential candidates to be invited to the Big 12 took a hit. We still won't know anything until the end of the summer though, so let the speculation continue!