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Conference Realignment: Louisville Still In The Big 12 Expansion Mix

The Big 12 Conference says its expansion plans are finished, but a league source says that the University of Louisville could be added, soon, as the league's 11th member.

"...Don't count out Louisville coming on board, too. And maybe sooner rather than later," wrote Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman Sunday. "A Big 12 source told me that despite what Neinas said Friday, the conference has not settled on 10 as an ideal number. In fact, there could be a push to also invite Louisville soon and bring the membership to 11."

On Friday, the Cardinals (4-4, 2-1 Big East) were left out of the Big 12 expansion plans as the conference decided to add West Virginia University (6-2, 2-1) and not Louisville. Last week, the Big 12 had a verbal agreement with WVU, but then retracted it when some of its schools wanted to add Louisville instead. However, after a few days of debating, the Big 12 decided make WVU its 10th member when the University of Missouri leaves for the Southeastern Conference.

Now, it seems that Louisville, though it lost out last week, is still very much an option for the Big 12.

"At 11, the Big 12 could stand pat and try to work a deal for Notre Dame as an associate member, in all sports but football," wrote Tramel. "At 11, the Big 12 could stand ready to easily get back to a full 12-team league with divisions and a championship game, no matter whether the 12th team is manna from Heaven (Notre Dame) or another Big East refugee (Cincinnati)."