At some point today, a UConn contingent will be in Texas making the case for the university’s inclusion in the Big 12 Conference. President Susan Herbst and Athletic Director David Benedict will be competing against 4-7 schools for somewhere between zero and four openings, according to various reports.
As this Big 12 expansion saga continues, each passing week is more ridiculous than the last. The start of football season has made it worse.
29,000 people attend the football game against an FCS opponent on a Thursday? You don’t belong in the Big 12!!!!
Fall behind to Maine? Can’t even hang with the FCS LOL!
Nevermind that all 25 fans at Kansas’ opener against Rhode Island stormed the field after the Jayhawks won. Forget that Iowa State did lose to an FCS team, or that two other "power five" programs did as well. Those schools aren’t on stage parading their stuff as potential Big 12 suitors the way UConn, Cincinnati, and others have to.
Every single news item offers an opportunity to discuss how the chess pieces may have moved as the Big 12 continues to draw out the process of exploring expansion. It’s insanity, and it needs to end soon.
No matter what ends up happening, please just remember that it will not be Herbst or Benedict’s "fault" if it doesn’t go our way. Just like when a sitting president is judged for the performance of the economy under his watch, one must consider that there are decades of decisions which influence the outcome of this conversation today. 98% of UConn’s resume is history, part of the public record. It will be the job of UConn’s leadership to fill in that 2% and tell the story in a compelling manner.
While we patiently wait for the expansion outcome which may very well determine the long-term health of the Husky athletic department, please enjoy this two-part podcast below!
The first portion is a conversation with Mike James, who recently joined Rivals to cover Navy after running an excellent site called The Birddog Blog. In the second, I sit down with our old pal Tim Fontenault to rant about recent goings in the world of UConn sports, including expansion, but more importantly, a bunch of other things. Enjoy!
Part 1: Navy Preview with Mike James
Part 2: All Things UConn Sports with Tim Fontenault
Huge thanks to Thomas Fritsch and Ian Bethune for the editing!