The talk of Big 12 expansion has quieted in recent months, but some of the conference’s football players support the idea.
An anonymous poll of players at Big 12 Media Days conducted by The Dallas Morning News’ Jori Epstein found that 18 of 24 players surveyed want the conference to expand. When asked which school they’d like to add to the Big 12, players overwhelmingly supported Houston.
The Cougars received 12 of the 24 player votes. The next two programs were BYU and former Big 12 member Nebraska, with three votes apiece. Other non-Power 5 schools receiving votes were Colorado State, Boise State, North Dakota State and Hawaii.
Players also voted for Power 5 programs such as Alabama and LSU, along with former Big 12 members Texas A&M and Missouri.
Houston was one of the top candidates when the league explored expansion last year. Cincinnati, one of the other top candidates, did not receive any votes from Big 12 players.
Texas governor Greg Abbott publicly campaigned for the Cougars last year, as did University of Texas president Greg Fenves. However, the conference ultimately decided against expansion.
Former Houston coach Tom Herman took the same position at Texas after the end of the 2016 regular season.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has said that the conference no longer is talking about expansion. However, he has not ruled out the possibility of the topic coming up again in the future.