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Big 12 Tuesday mailbag: Talking Cincinnati and the Big 12

In today's mailbag we chat about Cincinnati and the Big 12, Kansas' long-term title hopes and home attendance leaders. To submit questions for next week's mailbag, email me at bchatmonespn@gmail.com or tweet me @bchatmon.

Nick from Iowa writes: If Cincinnati is added to the Big 12, that would make it 11 teams. Would the Big 12 go for another team to make it an even 12 in the conference? If so, who would they go for?

Brandon Chatmon: In this scenario, which is a major “if,” I think the Big 12 would prefer to go to 12. The problem is finding two teams that make it worthwhile to do so. We’ve all heard the names: BYU, Cincinnati, Central Florida, etc. But if any those schools were “can’t-miss” additions, they’d probably already be in the conference.

Dennis Albertin writes: What are the chances of Wichita State getting an invitation to join the Big 12 if they bring back their football program?

Chatmon: Seems like roughly 0.01 percent. Even with football, what would Wichita State add to the conference right now?

Joe Ratliff writes: Big 12 shouldn’t expand just to expand, but when they find a match, they should jump on it. If Cincinnati were a match, what do you think about adding one school soon to go to 11 teams, and have a 11 team round robin in scheduling? Gives 10 Power 5 games at a minimum to each member, schedule 5 home and 5 away conference games, and allows for home and home scheduling every two years with all schools in conference until it finds another suitable member.

Chatmon: I couldn’t agree more with your first statement Joe. The problem is, 10 Power 5/conference games is great but people already generally ignore the fact Big 12 teams play nine Power 5/conference games right now. It’s not like the Big 12 would get credit for having 10 Power 5 games guaranteed. Not to mention the new rule requiring a Power 5 opponent. To be honest, I think if the Big 12 expands, it likely expands with two.


Chatmon: Man, it's going to be a while. Sadly for him, David Beaty had to fix things before he can even start pursuing his vision for the program. He didn't even have normal scholarship numbers when he arrived. Thus, I'd say we're looking at a five-year plan, at least. And it's not like the rest of the Big 12 is going to be sitting around waiting for Kansas to catch up either.

Chatmon: This is a tough question Ben, because I haven't seen enough of Felton or Dauphine to say. However, I'd be surprised if Tech doesn't use all three in some way this season. I'd give Stockton the first chance to step into DeAndre Washington's starting spot but I've heard good things about Felton and Dauphine. A three-running back attack wouldn't be a bad idea, as we seem to be trending away from having a primary back who carries the full burden in the Big 12 anyway.

Chatmon: They should be pretty concerned if the Joe Mixon video becomes public because, based on the people I've talked to who have seen it, it's pretty shocking. Ultimately we'll see how they handle it, but I'd be surprised if Oklahoma didn't already have a plan in place for when it went public. Time will tell, I suppose.

Chatmon: While I wouldn't characterize them as a favorite -- Oklahoma gets that honor -- the Cowboys are right there with the Sooners, TCU and Baylor as the teams who I expect to battle for the title. Oklahoma State has some warts, but so does every other title contender.

Chatmon: I do but it won't be easy. Frankly, West Virginia was in the Big 12 title race two years ago before falling apart in November. It's a big year for West Virginia and Holgorsen in terms of having to replace so many experienced players without a drop off. The Mountaineers must continue to take steps forward in the Big 12.

Chatmon: Texas (90,035), Oklahoma (85,357) and Oklahoma State (57,668) are 1-2-3 in the Big 12. No team really made any major jump in attendance compared to 2014. The thing that stands out to me is Iowa State's 56,519 average attendance. The Cyclones' fan base impresses me with its passion, year in and year out, regardless of the on-field results.