Big 12

Big 12 Expansion Apocalypse: Hope For The Best, Expect The Worst (Please)


I’ll make this short and sweet, because I promised myself I wouldn’t turn into an expansion tabloid until I absolutely had to. Tomorrow I will absolutely have to.

Monday, October 17 is a date that’s been circled for months, and now it appears the anticipation has been warranted. Big 12 presidents meet Monday in Dallas to discuss expansion, and it’s widely believed that they’ll reach a formal conclusion to a matter they’ve been deliberating over since mid-July. Here is what to expect out of a group that tends to pull the unexpected:

1. Believe Nobody But Bowlsby

The Big 12 presidents started their meeting tonight and will conclude some time tomorrow evening with a press conference that’s scheduled to start at 6:30 PM ET. (If it’s anything like the last meeting, we may see that pushed back.) All day, we’ll likely hear reports of what’s happening, and I know we’ll all be reading along. Last time, even minutes before Commissioner Bob Bowlsby stunned the college football world by announcing an expansion exploration, there were reporters on Twitter announcing the opposite. These guys are unpredictable. Nobody knows what’s happening. Don’t react to a decision until you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.

2. Follow Jason Williams

The Enquirer’s Expansion Man through all of this has been Jason Williams. The whole process has been a mess, and therefore is virtually impossible to cover from a journalistic standpoint. Despite all of this, Jason has made the process, dare I say, enjoyable. He’s done a great job. He’ll be in Dallas having us covered throughout the day and into the evening. Follow him on Twitter.

3. Hope For The Best

I think I’m starting to earn a reputation as one of the more optimistic voices surrounding UC, and I’d hate to stop now. Lord knows we need it. As I said, nobody knows what will happen. Even this week, I saw some “experts” predicting that the Big 12 will (eventually) go to 12, or even 14. The door isn’t closed yet, so I’m still hopeful. Having said that…

4. Prepare For The Worst

I’m 95% certain UC will not be headed to the Big 12 tomorrow evening. It sucks, but that’s life, especially as a Bearcat fan. It’s how UC’s luck has been (especially recently) and it’s how the fickle nature of expansion is. In short, I fully expect to be screwed by tomorrow’s news. I think the best, realistic scenario is that the Big 12 does what the Big 12 has always done and essentially shrugs and goes back to the drawing board. Realistically, continuing forth into this expansion mess may be the best hope UC has. I’m of the opinion that the Big 12 doesn’t want to expand right now, so hopefully they’ll at least leave the door open for expansion in the near future. If you must get your hopes up, please let it be in hopes of a non-decision that keeps Cincinnati’s Big 12 hopes alive.

Bearcat fans, I beg of you, please do not expect an invite. We don’t know what will happen, but I think it’s fair to say that all signs point to a disappointing day tomorrow. I don’t want to spend the evening off of Twitter while UC fans collective jump off a cliff. We’ve been through too much, especially in the past 13 months. I can’t handle a tidal wave of misery, no matter how warranted it will be. Unlike the devastating football and basketball losses of 2015–16, we kind of know this is coming. Please prepare yourselves.

The best we can do is hope for the best but expect the worst. Hunker down and hold onto your seats. Tomorrow is gonna be interesting, somehow.

And of course, as always, #Big12Confirmed.