Clark Johnson’s Plan for Big 12 Expansion

HOUSTON, TX-DECEMBER 31: Navy caoch Ken Niumatalolo get the refs to review a Tigers fumble that gave Navy the chance to score it's 2nd touchdown just before the half as the Navy Midshipmen defeat the Missouri Tigers 35 -13 in the 2009 Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston TX, December 31, 2009. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post) StaffPhoto imported to Merlin on Thu Dec 31 19:59:01 2009

*Disclosure: I will be looking at this primarily from a football perspective.*

As Brad Smith previously gave his plan for expansion in the Big 12, I also have a vision for the conference moving forward. Since it is unlikely that many other Power 5 schools would consider making the jump to the wild-wild Midwest, this list will strictly consist of proven Group of 5 programs.

Here are 3 programs that could potentially be strong additions to the Big 12 Conference:


  • NAVY: The triple-option in the Big 12? Could it work? Whether it would or would not is a mystery, but it would certainly be fun to watch. Navy has been a strong football program under Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo. The Midshipmen have won 8 or more games in 9 of his 12 seasons at the Naval Academy. Many defensive coordinators in the Big 12 would not appreciate this addition, but it would be compelling to see how they would hold up against the high-flying air raid offenses.
  • UCF: A program that has became increasingly arrogant over the course of the last three seasons, it may be time for them to finally prove themselves against legitimate competition. The Central Florida Football program has been on a tear since 2017, compiling a 35-4 record over that span. Josh Heupel is annually a highly sought after head coaching candidate for Power 5 programs, he would only add to the list of impressive young Big 12 coaches.
  • HOUSTON: Do not act like you did not see this coming. No, this is not a Dana Holgorsen based choice despite the interesting rivalry that could be there with the Cougars and West Virginia. Houston is a legitimate football program that is only continuing to grow. The Cougars have a talented roster, and could compete with the best of the Big 12 after Holgorsen lays his foundation.