West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons is a proponent of Big 12 expansion. He's not in favor of the Big 12 adding just anyone, however.
In an interview with WVIllustrated.com, Lyons said there was a conference presidential committee "kind of" looking at the possibility of adding two more teams.
“There's a presidential committee that's kind of looking at that as well, but as athletic directors, we try to look at the bigger picture of what actual teams and partners we could bring in that would add value to the conference and that's still being explored,” Lyons said.
"I'm in favor of expansion if it's the right two teams to bring in,” he continued. “Obviously for us, it would be nice to have more of an eastern partner, but at the same time, I want to make sure it's the right partner and from a revenue standpoint it doesn't impact us negatively as well by bringing additional partners in.”
Lyons took over for former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck in January. Luck, who was also a member of the College Football Playoff committee, took a job at the NCAA. Lyons was previously Alabama's deputy athletic director.
Ever since it lost Missouri and Texas A&M to be at 10 teams, Big 12 officials have generally said they're happy with the conference's setup. After all, as Lyons mentioned, Big 12 teams aren't going to want to sacrifice per-team payouts from the conference just to add two more teams, even if it means the conference will be able to have a football title game.
BYU has consistently expressed interest in joining a Power Five conference in recent memory and would likely be one of the few teams in the possible "right" category. But the Cougars would not be an eastern team. Provo, Utah, is nearly 2,000 miles from Morgantown. It would be the longest intra-conference trek for any Power Five conference matchup.
Who could be an eastern team? That's a great question. If we're making a list off the top of our heads, our top three – Memphis, Cincinnati and UCF – all are in the American Athletic Conference.
For more West Virginia news, visit WVSports.com.
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