Politics and football are two of the most important things in the state of Texas, and the two have been linked together recently in light of the Big 12 expansion talks.
The Big 12, which currently has 10 teams, is looking to expand to 12 teams and many schools are in the running for the spots. The most recent news lists Houston and BYU as the front runners to join, but Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis, UCF and Colorado State have also been linked to the talks.
Governor Greg Abbott recently tweeted an endorsement for Houston to be included in the Big 12 expansion plans. He tweeted “Big 12 expansion is a non-starter unless it includes University of Houston.” Gov. Abbott is a University of Texas graduate with strong ties to the Big 12, so a voice like his is a major influence on the decision-making process.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 21, 2016
The reason big named politicians endorsing schools creates such an impact is, because being in a power 5 conference, such as the Big 12, in football is a major aspect of the game in this day and age. These schools such as Houston that are in non-power 5 conferences are jumping at the chance to get their football teams on the map, competing with the cream of the crop as far as college football is concerned.
Gov. Abbott isn’t the only politician jumping on the Houston Big 12 bandwagon, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted a response to the governors tweet saying, “I join with (Greg Abbott) – any Big 12 expansion must include (Houston) or NO DEAL!”
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) July 21, 2016
While everything Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick expressed is purely a matter of opinion, it sure makes it an interesting time for the Big 12 as expansion looms over the conference’s future plans.