The Big 12 lost four quality programs last decade (Missouri to the SEC, Texas A&M to the SEC, Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the PAC 12) and only gained two in the West Virginia Mountaineers and the TCU Horned Frogs.
West Virginia, although an outstanding addition to the conference, does not make a lot of sense geographically and a regional rival for the Mountaineers is needed. With that said, the following three programs should be added to the Big 12 as soon as possible:
The Bearcats are a natural geographic rival for West Virginia with only a manageable 5 hour drive between Morgantown and Cincinnati. In addition, the Cincinnati basketball program has been consistently very good for many years and the football program is going through a real resurgence under Head Coach Luke Fickell.
The future is incredibly bright in Memphis with Penny Hardaway leading the basketball team and an excellent football core in place under former Head Coach Mike Norvell. Hardaway is an outstanding young coach and recruiter, and there is no doubt that they will be a real contender in basketball for years to come. Although Norvell left Memphis to go to Florida State, the Tigers were 11-1 last season and Norvell went 38-15 during his four seasons there.
Imagine this, former West Virginia Head Coach turned Houston Head Coach Dana Holgorsen bringing his Houston Cougars into Morgantown for a showdown with the Mountaineers!
Houston is the most logical choice to join the Big 12. They are an up and coming program in football and have historical and current success in basketball. Billionaire Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets of the NBA, is a graduate of the University of Houston and a big-time donor to the athletic department. Houston has the resources to make the jump to the Big 12 and be competitive immediately.