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Why Rutgers and Purdue make the most sense as Big 12 expansion candidates

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We'd like to nominate two dark horses for the conference expansion sweepstakes! This is a very serious blog post on a very serious web site.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

"Will they or won't they?" love subplots have gripped a nation of TV watchers for years.

Ross and Rachel.

Jim and Pam.

Ted and Robin.

The Big 12 Conference and Expansion.

Much like the other examples, the last one appears to finally be ending in happy matrimony soon. And two lucky schools soon may bring the Big 12 back up to its name, with 12 teams instead of the 10 they have now. Eight candidates have emerged as prime contenders for these two additional spots. All of them have something unique to offer: BYU has a rabid fanbase and already plays a tough football schedule as an independent; Memphis has a bunch of FedEx money; Houston is in a big metro area and just got a new football stadium; Colorado State is in Fort Collins which I hear is pretty nice; UConn has all those men's and women's basketball titles; USF and UCF have FLORIDA CROOTIN'; and Cincinnati would play inspired in honor of their hometown's beloved ape Harambe.

A lot of good candidates for sure.

But none that are quite what the Big 12 needs right now.

Look. We here at crimson quarry dot com are no strangers to giving out free advice on this website. So Commissioner Bowlsby, if you're reading this I have a suggestion for your next two Big 12 members.

Invite Purdue and Rutgers to join the Big 12 conference.

Yep, you heard me. Purdue University and Rutgers University would be great fits for your fledgling conference, since they really round out and diversify what the conference needs most. And to help you out, I even made a pro/con list for each school and why they'd work in the Big 12.

PURDUE

Pros:

  • West Lafayette, Indiana would fit in well in a conference that includes Ames, Iowa; Manhattan, Kansas; and Waco, Texas.
  • Drew Brees is from Texas and went to Purdue and a lot of Big 12 schools are from Texas so really they're just going back to their roots.
  • The Boilers are pretty good at basketball and I know you're all sick of Kansas winning the conference title every year so maybe Purdue can challenge them.
  • Neil Armstrong went there, you know?
  • Guaranteed victory for Texas.

Cons:

  • There are no drawbacks to this move whatsoever

As you can see, Purdue would fit in nicely with the current Big 12 roster. Purdue fans might be upset at first, but look, at least you'll beat Kansas in football. Probably. As for IU fans who might be sad at losing the Bucket Game or the basketball rivalry: there's always the out-of-conference games. Or better yet, just replace Purdue on the schedule with Kentucky. The Boiler faithful will not be upset about that at all.

Now for the Big 12 conference to really be "12" though, they have to add one more member. Don't worry Bowlsby, we got you covered on that one too.

RUTGERS

Pros:

  • Proximity to NYC would give the conference a presence in a major media market.
  • They are near the Big Apple, and K-State is located in a town nicknamed the Little Apple, so the built-in rivalry potential is already there.
  • They're apparently the crown jewel of conference expansion. Wouldn't the Big 12, after being picked on by all the other Power 5 conferences all these years, just love to grab "the crown jewel of conference expansion" away from the B1G?
  • Did I mention they're close to New York?
  • Guaranteed victory for Texas.

Cons:

  • There are no drawbacks to this move whatsoever

Thus, why choose Memphis or BYU when you can have Rutgers? It's the birthplace of college football, you know. I've heard reports that they have a men's basketball team as well, but at the time of publication this has not been confirmed.

Now, I know there's been one giant obstacle to getting this expansion approved all along, and that's been the University of Texas, because there's nothing worse than upsetting a school that's lost 7 football games in each of the past two seasons. But with 12 teams, this conference is going to need divisions. And the ones I've proposed will erase any doubts for Longhorns fans that this is the right move:

Big 12 East Big 12 West
Rutgers Kansas State
West Virginia Oklahoma
Purdue Oklahoma State
Iowa State Baylor
Kansas TCU
Texas Texas Tech

I have a feeling the Longhorns will approve of this divisional alignment, and any questions that UT has about expanding will immediately be put aside.

Look, Commissioner Bowlsby. You can do what everyone thinks you will, and bring two decent AAC teams or BYU in. Or you can think outside the box, and invite two teams with Power 5 experience to your conference.

If I were in your shoes, I know what I'd do.