In the world of NIL and the transfer portal, having big NIL deals is a big deal. Suddenly a market like Pullman, WA loses all of it’s appeal.
If the Big 12 went this route, the top choices would be:
UNLV – Las Vegas market is huge and would give access to the conference to venues that no other school could. Oregon – Nike is an NIL in itself, and Eugene isn’t a small town either. Utah – The Utes have Salt Lake City, plus much of Utah who don’t align themselves with BYU. San Diego State – SDSU is in a huge market and would give the conference access to Southern California. Arizona State – The Phoenix area is one of the biggest markets out west, and if the team gets hot, watch out for a ton of NIL potential. Washington – Seattle is a huge market, although football isn’t a huge focus in that city. Colorado – The Denver market would be nice to have, however much like Washington college sports aren’t a top priority in the city with so many professional teams. Boise State – Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and would have a huge geographic following. Air Force – It is impossible to not support a military institution.
North/South Dakota State –
There are no big teams in either of the Dakotas. While there isn’t a huge population, being the only one within 500 miles any direction could add up to some NIL deals.