Everyone's reporting that Texas A&M has all but decided to leave the Big 12 for the SEC, and the San Antonio Express-News adds an Aggie official says the Big 12 told the school the University of Houston would be a viable replacement.
UH had been talking/hoping/trying to get into the Big East, reportedly; while the Big 12 seems to be losing some momentum lately, it would still be a huge boost for the Coogs to get in it.
5. They'd be out of Conference USA Conference USA was basically started as a basketball conference in 1995, with UH joining schools like Marquette, Louisville, DePaul and Cincinnati, all of them at the time relative hoop powers. The C-USA membership has changed radically since then, of course, but it's still decidedly small-timey, with very little in the way of well-known football programs.
4. A notable upgrade in the schedule Instead of playing teams like UTEP, Tulane and Memphis, the Coogs will be lining up against the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Even in down periods, those schools are recognizable football names.
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3. Increased TV revenue The jump here will be impressive. C-USA generates a fraction of the revenue the Big 12 does.
2. The new stadium becomes more of a likelihood A year ago UH announced plans to spend $160 million expanding and renovating Robertson Stadium, an outdated facility that seats a mere 32,000. The current economy isn't very conducive to raising the cash needed to fulfill that plan, of course, but a move to the Big 12 would not only energize the UH fan base, including the big-time donors, it would mean a higher profile that would more easily attract corporate donors. And the Big 12 could make UH guarantee the renovations would be done as a condition of acceptance, making it even more of a priority for the school.
1. Easier access to the BCS Right now UH can only hope to be a "BCS-buster," an outside school that's ranked so high it demands a spot in a BCS bowl. The Big 12, of course, automatically qualifies the conference winner for such a spot, and second-place schools from AQ conferences often find their way into the games.
So all UH would need to do is prove themselves on the field, and the rest of it will take care of itself.