University of New Mexico athletic director Paul Krebs on Friday said he could neither confirm nor deny an espn.com report that listed UNM as one of 18 schools to be interviewed by the Big 12 Conference as possible expansion candidates.
College football reporter Brett McMurphy, citing unnamed sources, initially
reported that the Big 12 will conduct video conferences with those 17 schools. He later added Air Force, making four of UNM’s fellow Mountain West Conference schools — Air Force, Colorado Sate, Boise State and San Diego State — that are on the list.
From a UNM standpoint, Krebs said in a phone interview, nothing has changed since a week ago, when the Journal reported that UNM had informed the Big 12 in a letter that it was interested in joining the Power 5 league.
“What I can confirm is that we’ve expressed our interest in the opportunity to join the Big 12 and are waiting to see what the next step may be,” Krebs said. “There has been no additional contact (with the Big 12 since last week).
“We remain interested in the opportunity and we’re awaiting the next steps.”
McMurphy, again citing unnamed sources, wrote that the Big 12 is unlikely to expand from 10 to 14 members as has been speculated. More likely, he wrote, the Power Five conference will add two schools — becoming an actual Big 12 again — or perhaps not expand at all.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, in comments to the Tulsa World, took a decidedly dim view of the Big 12’s expansion initiative in general but took particular exception to the prospect of Houston joining the conference. Houston is a rich recruiting area for virtually all the current Big 12 schools.