In all the confusion of college football realignment, somebody got it wrong.
By far one of the craziest rumors you will hear (if you haven't heard already) is the potential of the CU going back to align the Big 12 conference. Not only is the idea farfetched, but doesn't make any sense. Not even the slightest. Why would a university go back to a conference that was less than supportive of their initiatives and growth?
How this all started was an announcement on Tuesday from the Big 12 conference about the possibility of expanding back to 12, or even 14, teams. The idea is about three years too late, but nonetheless it's good decision by Big 12. I would hate to see Baylor or TCU be left out of another college football playoff because the conference self-appoints a champion.
To be fair about the situation, Ohio State, who was put in the playoff over both schools in 2014, did win the National Championship that year. At this point, the ten team conference not called the Big Ten, should consider all of their options. Cincinnati, Colorado State, Houston, BYU, Boise State, UCONN, UCF and Memphis have thrown around as possible suitors for the Big 12's expansion.
How CU was throw into the conversation was after comments by Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. He was asked by Heartland College Sports about the Big 12 conference's possibility of getting back to twelve schools and had this to say.
Snyder: "Some people could say, well, you know so and so doesn't get what they want that they could go some place. Where do you go? Where ya going, you know? Who's in our conference right now that could go some place and be better than where they are? And I may be wrong and other people may see it differently but I don't think anybody could be in a better situation than the teams we have in our conference. I tell you what there's teams that left our conference right now that wish they could get back in the conference."
Reporter: "How many you think?"
Snyder "Two I know of."
Reporter: "The two closest to you?" *Laughter*
Snyder: "Two I know of."
Reporter: "Well, you could get it back to twelve that way."
Snyder: "Well I've already made that recommendation."
The reporter was accurate with his mathematical assessment, that if the Big 12 were to expand with two teams (as Snyder suggested), the total amount would be twelve. However, his secondary assessment of the "two closest teams", might be completely off considering that would be Nebraska and Missouri.
Snyder's comments were taken out of context and some people assumed one of the two teams he was referring to was Colorado. Some pundits even rationalized the possibility as being good for CU, including Jason Kirk who wrote an article titled, "Bill Snyder says 2 teams want back in the Big 12. There's 1 that kind of makes sense!"
The reasoning behind this could be CU's poor record in Pac-12 conference games, or just an overall lack of knowledge. Whatever the case may be, CU's struggles after moving to the Pac-12 haven't been due to a conference related issue. Hypothetically, if CU was placed back in the Big 12, the past five years would have a similar outcome. Recruiting has been lackluster and the drive towards bring good, quality athletes has started to improve since construction was completed of the Champions Center.
The first class, state-of-the-art $105 Million training facility was an investment to the university and illustrates the benefits of Pac-12 membership for the Colorado Buffaloes. If CU was still part of the Big 12, it's uncertain if the center would have been built at all. Compared to the last five years in the Big 12 (2006-2010), Colorado's total revenue has gone up 21% since joining the Pac-12, for a total of $308.4 million in the past five years according to USA Today. The revenue for the athletics department alone has gone from $9.4 million to $25 Million, a 277% jump in five years.
To set the record straight, CU didn't leave the Big 12 because of feuds with other schools in the conference or differences in political ideology. The university left to improve their branding and realized the Pac-12 could help facilitate the needs of their alumni base around the world. The student population is centrally based in the west and the move was a great business decision.
It's likely that Houston, Cincinnati and/or BYU will be joining the Big 12 to round out the number of teams. Don't expect any team from the Pac-12 to be on the move. Representatives of the conference have said that commissioner Larry Scott is "happy" with twelve teams and won't be looking to expand to fourteen or more anytime soon.