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Big 12 football coaches select BYU and Houston as top expansion candidates in ESPN poll

West Virginia v Oklahoma

In the wake of the news from the Big 12 board yesterday, ESPN conducted a poll among all 10 Big 12 football coaches to see who they would like to see added to the league. Each coach gave their top two choices, Houston and BYU tied with five to win.

Given that BYU and Houston are easily the two best football programs within the available choices, this might come as no surprise. Coaches know that by playing high caliber teams, their exposure goes up and ultimately recruiting improves. Cincinnati and Memphis received four votes a piece while Central Florida and Colorado State each got one.

It is unlikely that this really means anything since members of the Big 12’s board of directors are the ones ultimately making the final decisions on conference expansion, not the coaches.

An interesting note mentioned by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy in the article on the poll is the exit requirements for the American Athletic Conference (AAC). According to McMurphy, AAC members must provide a 27-month notice and pay a 10 million dollar buyout to leave the conference. All of the schools thought to be candidates for Big 12 expansion outside of BYU and Colorado State are currently in the AAC.

While the AAC buyout is significant, it may be the 27-month notice that could complicate things for the candidates in the AAC. The Big 12 said they could expand as early as 2017 and if they were to do that, any AAC team would need to negotiate a shorter wait period with the AAC or they wouldn't be able to make the switch in that time frame.