Ford intrigued by Big 12’s expansion options
Saturday, October 8, 2011
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Coach Travis Ford is glad Oklahoma State didn’t join the Pac-12, and he is getting fired up about what the Big 12 could become if it decides to keep expanding.
“You start hearing some of the possibilities, whether it be a Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati — those are some of the teams I hear,” Ford said Friday. “Boy, you’re talking about an unbelievable basketball league. Just a ridiculous, ridiculous basketball league.”
The Big 12 lost Nebraska and Colorado to other conferences last summer, and Texas A&M will move to the Southeastern Conference next year. Missouri is considering a move, possibly to the SEC.
The conference started negotiations this week to add TCU and numerous other schools — including BYU, Houston, SMU and Air Force — have been mentioned as possible expansion candidates.
Ford is more intrigued by the schools from the basketball-dominated Big East that may be on the market, especially since the league is losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I think from different teams that I’m hearing and the possibilities, we could have went from a league that was folding to now one of the stronger leagues at the end of the day,” he said. “Everybody might be wanting to join us.”
Ford, who played for one year at Missouri before transferring to Kentucky, also held out hope the Tigers will stay in the Big 12 because “they bring a lot to the table.”
He’s personally glad Oklahoma State didn’t end up moving to the Pac-12 as part of a package deal with Oklahoma, and possibly Texas and Texas Tech.
“I am for definitely staying in the Big 12 and I wasn’t overly excited about going west,” Ford said. “I think the time change could have really played havoc on many levels — game times starting, your kids’ body times, getting back time and just everything.”
Ford said he believes a lot of the changes are based on football, but noted the Big 12 has top basketball programs.
With the names floating around, it could only get stronger,” he said.