|New Mexico Lobos. Image via tulsaworld.com.|
If you thought that the idea of Colorado State, UConn, or (gasp) Temple trying to join the Big 12 were experiments in insane thinking, then you haven't heard nothing yet. The latest school to throw its hat into the ring as a potential Big 12 expansion candidate is New Mexico.
In a letter to the Big 12 obtained and published by The Albuquerque Journal, University of New Mexico president Robert G, Frank laid out its case to become the newest member of the conference.
"Sports reporters, ESPN broadcasters, and all the other outlets are advancing many names for possible Big 12 expansion. None of those universities or colleges can match the athletic and academic prowess of The University of New Mexico (UNM), a school which is not only within the Big 12’s regional footprint, but is a research institution with a diverse student population and a rich cultural history. UNM fits the core values of the conference’s peer institutions, and has a collegiate fan base and media base to match."
The letter goes on to list the positives for New Mexico in academics and athletics, including promotion of its Health Sciences Center, and the school's 184 All-Americans and 38 conference championships in various sports over the past ten years.
Frank's mention of New Mexico being in the Big 12's "regional footprint" may be its biggest drawback to the school's being chosen for expansion. Among the Big 12's goals for expansion will obviously be to expand its footprint. New Mexico is probably not a big enough school to warrant adding a school inside the footprint.
(via Dr. Saturday)