No one has more to gain from a Big 12 invitation than Houston. The Cougars have a highly-regarded coaching staff, a top-10 TV market, a new stadium, a supportive and active president and a top-5 recruiting market at their finger tips. All that's needed is a Power 5 pin to stick on their lapel.
The question, then, is what Houston does for the Big 12. The Coogs can help the Big 12 solidify the Greater Houston area, which has quickly become disputed territory with the SEC since Texas A&M's migration four years ago. But they wouldn't make the SEC irrelevant in Houston.
And they wouldn't bring any new recruits to the pool -- all they'd do, in fact, is add another fish to some already crowded waters. How is Kansas supposed to feel about recruiting against Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor, TCU and Houston for Texas kids?
But forget about what I feel. The only people whose opinions truly matter are the 10 Big 12 presidents -- and one has come out in favor of considering Houston.
Texas president Greg Fenves's comment comes after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued his support for the Coogs. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and UT system chancellor William McRaven followed suit soon after.
Those are political statements to be sure. It's not like Fenves and especially Abbott and Patrick are going to come out in favor of Cincinnati. But they all choose to come out in favor of Houston when saying nothing was also an option.
Realignment is an inherently political process. Baylor and Texas Tech, legend has it, owe their Big 12 existence to the same political pressure Houston benefits from today. And the ACC's original raid of the Big East in the early part of the previous decade targeted Boston College and Syracuse before political pressure in Virginia pushed the Orange out in favor of Virginia Tech.
No one knows exactly where Big 12 expansion is heading, but keep this in mind: nothing inspires a certain level of -- let's call it passion -- like politics, family, religion and college football.
And in Texas, those are all kind of the same thing.