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Big 12 mailbag: What we learned from the conference meetings

IRVING, Texas -- In this week's Big 12 Twitter mailbag we delve into what we learned from the conference meetings, and what it means for the future of the Big 12.

Now, I'm about to hit the road back to Oklahoma City.

On to the 'bag:

Trotter: Expansion is not dead. But it's not exactly imminent, either. Friday, I point-blank asked Kansas State president Kirk Schulz if every school president is open to at least discussing expansion; Schulz's answer: "All 10 [presidents] are open to the idea of looking at the number of schools [expansion], a championship game and what a conference network might look like." Commissioner Bob Bowlsby emphasized that no individual expansion candidates have been discussed yet, and that it would be a while before that might take place. Expansion isn't dead. But it's still rather dormant.

Trotter: Honestly, I think this week was about getting on the same page. To me, the most interesting thing Schulz said was that "there's a unanimity" among the 10 schools that wasn't there before in terms of sacrificing the interests of the individual schools for the good of the Big 12. That would be a major step for this conference, which, in the past, has endured multiple spokespeople espousing opposing agendas. Outside of losing members to other conferences, that mixed messaging has contributed to the Big 12 being "psychologically disadvantaged" as much as anything else.

Trotter: Without a doubt. But the Big 12 would have to be able to pitch something that would get Arizona and Arizona State to consider it. What would that be?

Trotter: The Big 12 isn't going anywhere in the next five years. But if, for example, Oklahoma grew increasingly disenchanted with the state of the Big 12 as the granting of TV rights contracts neared their expiration date (2025), and the Sooners bolted for -- or even flirted with -- say, the SEC, that would be death knell for the Big 12. As long as Oklahoma and Texas remain committed to the conference, the Big 12 will have a fighting chance at long-term survival -- but only if Oklahoma and Texas remain 100 percent committed.

Trotter: The move makes sense to me. With the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL is king on Thanksgiving, and moving to Friday should help the TV ratings. I would think it would help attendance for Texas, too; the Thanksgiving crowds have not been great for the Longhorns since Texas replaced Texas A&M with TCU and Texas Tech. Also, bumping the game back a day will give both teams an extra day of rest. As it stands, both TCU and Texas are playing on the Saturday before (Texas at Kansas, TCU vs. Oklahoma State).

Trotter: It's not a permanent move. More so a trial run.

Trotter: This is a dumb question. The more "realistic" question is: Would I put mustard on everything I ate and in everything I drank over a full year for $1 million? The eating part wouldn't be the problem. Brats, sandwiches, chicken, I could make that work. But in everything I drank? There's just no way. I would be sick all 365 days of the year.

Trotter: Well, the Red Raiders should remain strong where they've been strong for years now, as they signed one of the better receiving classes in the country, with No. 1 juco Derrick Willies and four-star high school signee T.J. Vasher. With Patrick Mahomes, Tech is going to continue to put up points. The question is: Are there any future defensive standouts that will come out of this class? The answer to that is ultimately going to determine whether this class was a successful one. Guys like Brayden Stringer, Ivory Jackson and Kevin Moore really need to pan out for Tech to make the jump defensively it desperately needs to make.

Trotter: Iowa State is going to be an interesting team next year. Quarterback Joel Lanning's development will be key. So will how rapidly the rest of the team adapts to the new systems on both sides of the ball. But there's enough talent on that roster for the Cyclones to challenge for bowl eligibility. A brutal schedule ultimately is going to make it difficult. But at the very least, I see Iowa State being one of the Big 12's improved teams in Matt Campbell's first season.

Trotter: I can honestly say, I love it.