For the second time in just a few days, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark found himself on ESPN talking about the future of the conference.
After appearing on College GameDay in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, Yormark sat down for an interview with Mike Greenberg on the network’s flagship morning show “Get Up” on Wednesday. Yormark was in New York City as part of the Big 12’s college basketball media day. West Virginia men’s basketball head coach Bob Huggins also made the trip to represent the conference.
Greenberg brought up how he feels the concern over the future of conference in the midst of realignment and the upcoming departures of mainstays Oklahoma and Texas has dissipated in recent months. This then sparked Yorkmark, who has only been on the job for 3 months, to cite the parity and attendance numbers during this football season.
“From a conference perspective, we’re off to the best year we’ve had in years. Parity, attendance is up, 60% of our teams are in the top 25. Obviously losing Texas and Oklahoma is something we’re dealing with, but this conference is much bigger than two teams,” Yormark preached about the positives of the Big 12 today.
Yormark then pivoted to how the conference is expanding. “We’re excited about our future. And when you think about the four teams coming in. Cincinnati, UCF, BYU (Houston too but not mentioned). We’ve got a huge opportunity here,” he added. This triggered a follow up from Greenberg about his past “we’re open for business” comments on expansion. “From an expansion standpoint, we’re vetting all options. That doesn’t mean that we are going to expand beyond the four teams, but if the opportunity presents itself where it’s additive and creates value for our conference, we’re going to pursue it.”
The Big 12 commissioner also stated he feels college football is in “a pause stage” right now in terms of movement of programs as a whole.