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Big 12 opts not to expand; UConn, UMass still seeking landing spots

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I guess that wheel isn’t turning just yet.

Iowa State v Texas Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After much hullabaloo and debate, The Big XII opted against announcing expansion yesterday, and seemed to indicate that as of now expansion is not imminent, with Big 12 Chairman David Boren saying it would be "wrong to indicate that [expansion] is an active agenda item."

BYU, Houston and Cincinnati were considered the likeliest candidates for two spots should the Big 12 have decided to expand to, well, 12, but UConn was on the list as well. UConn has made no bones about their wish to join a Power Five conference, but with the ACC and Big Ten pretty well firmed up, the Big 12 was their best hope to get in to the game.

While the AAC remains a fine basketball conference, and certainly one of the best non-power-five football conferences, the revenue difference between the AAC and the Power Five is staggering, so UConn will certainly continue to beat down the door for any possible expansion opportunity.

As I discussed here yesterday, the other potential BC-related fallout from a new round of realignment would be what may happen with UMass. The Minutemen continue to struggle through their FBS era, currently posting a 1-6 record as an independent and having not attracted a crowd over 15,000 at Gillette Stadium for a game against anyone other than BC since 2013.

It’s hard to imagine UMass views independence as being a viable option long-term, but the lack of a new round of shuffling means they still don’t have a natural landing spot that can get them out of their current predicament.

The AAC seems like a best-case scenario, but it’s unlikely the league is expanding any time soon. UMass’s best hope is for an AAC opening to be created by other means.

With the Big 12 standing pat at ten members, it looks like any more big realignment in college football is going to have to wait - and it means BC’s regional adversaries still face an uncertain future.