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Oklahoma President David Boren to Become Chair of Big 12 Board

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It could be insignificant, but it's probably quite meaningful that the Big 12's biggest advocate for expansion (and a conference TV network) is now the chair of its Board of Directors.

Boren (far left) with OU head coach Bob Stoops after the Sooners defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Boren (far left) with OU head coach Bob Stoops after the Sooners defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kansas State president Kirk Schulz's move to Washington State to hold the same post may have implications for conference realignment since Schulz was the chair of the Big 12 Board of Directors. According to multiple reports, Oklahoma president David Boren will be filling his vacant seat.

This should come as good news to UConn fans, or fans of any school outside of the "power five" cartel, as Boren has been the most outspoken advocate for Big 12 expansion among its leadership. He has also expressed interest in a conference television network, a move which would potentially give UConn advantageous position in the field of expansion candidates.

Though its Hartford/New Haven TV market is just the 30th-largest in the country, according to Nielson, UConn undeniably offers visibility in New York's top-ranked market. The creation of a Big 12 television network also potentially increases the Big 12's likelihood of expanding to 14, in an effort to cover as much ground as possible, which would also increase UConn's chances for an invite.

Additionally, as testament to the strength of the Husky athletic department, UConn finished 48th in USA Today's survey of public school athletic department revenues, ahead of multiple power conference schools and tops among non-power five programs.

The next shoe in the realignment saga is expected to drop in May, at the Big 12's spring meetings, according to ESPN's Jake Trotter, where they may vote to expand. Trotter is also hearing that UConn is a leading candidate should expansion occur.

The rumor mill is no longer limited to Big 12 expansion, however, as there is a compelling case for the SEC to expand given the need to compete with Big Ten revenue in light of its new deal with Fox. It would be hard for Boren and the folks at Oklahoma to turn down an SEC invite, especially if his expansion/television network wishes aren't met.

Buckle up. We could be in for an interesting summer.