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Reports: Bob Bowlsby To Be New Big 12 Commissioner

The Big 12 has found the replacement for interim commissioner Chuck Neinas -- Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby, according to multiple reports, with the first emerging from ESPN.

Andy Katz, who broke the initial report, believes the timetable for an announcement could be as early as late this week.

More importantly, however, Bowlsby's connections to noted expansion enthusiast Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, have sparked speculation about whether the Big 12 will seek to expand back to 12 teams under Bowlsby's watch.

As pointed out by Brett McMurphy of, the issue for some members driving the push back to 12 is stability, which the league has had difficulty achieving in recent years. However, there does not seem to be a consensus among the membership and unless the conference could add Notre Dame, having to split revenue further doesn't make much sense. The other top target seems to be Louisville, apparently ready to bolt from the dying Big East.

There's also the fact that going back to 12 teams would kill the current scheduling arrangement in football that allows each league school to play every other, which some coaches prefer to the division set-up and having to play a conference championship game that could kill national championship hopes.

The most significant task facing Bowlsby will be building consensus in a still-fractured conference, something former commissioner Dan Beebe struggled with mightily, but an area in which Neinas seemed to have more success.

Bowlsby was also heavily involved in the television negotiations during the last round for the Pac-12, which ended favorably for the league.