Last week's Big 12 meetings concluded with the conference accomplishing very little to advance its status.
First, they decided to make a rule to protect their coaches at the expense of the student-athletes. The rule stipulated that walk-ons transferring for a scholarship offer from another school within the conference would have to sit out a year.
24 hours later they changed their mind. It was not a good look.
The biggest decision from the meetings, with respect to UConn and potential expansion, is that there will be no conference television network. This effectively eliminates the importance of TV market should the Big 12 decide to expand and consequently hurts UConn's chances.
The conference did decide to split into two divisions and hold a conference championship game-- a curious decision considering everybody plays each other every season and the "One True Champion" mantra they had been pushing these past few years. Conversely, money:
Boren says annual average value of football title game is estimated at $27-$28 million.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) June 3, 2016
Perhaps most importantly, the quotables coming from conference leadership seem to have swayed away from expansion being a strong consideration. Most notably David Boren, the president of Oklahoma who previously described the conference as "disadvantaged" without a TV network, conference championship game, and at least 12 members, now seems to be singing a different tune.
With things looking bleak for expansion, and TV market becoming less of a factor, UConn's overall chances for a Big 12 invite are not looking great. At this point, Husky fans may want to hope for no expansion because if it does happen it almost definitely won't be with UConn and would end up with the Huskies stuck in a weaker version of the American.
On the plus side, there are rumblings that a different "power" conference might be looking to expand to better support a new television network, and it turns out it's a much better fit for UConn to boot.
The ACC appears to be moving in the direction of a cable network tied to the potential addition of Notre Dame to the conference as a full member.
Adding Notre Dame would put the ACC at 15 members, which they would obviously need to even up. And what better way to do so than to add the University of Connecticut, a highly-regarded basketball school who helps with their northeast/NYC push and brings another high-quality academic and athletic school into the fold?
So at this point, the ACC is looking like UConn's best bet for an invite to the autonomy party.