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Memphis Tigers want it on potential new round of Big 12 expansion

A pairing of Memphis and Cincinnati would make geographic sense for the conference.

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Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Monday release of Navigate Research's study that showed the Big 12 could benefit from expansion by 4-5 percent with the College Football Playoff Committee, the Memphis Tigers are joining the list of schools jockeying for position join the conference, according to a report out of Memphis.

If Memphis fails to earn an invitation to join the Big 12, it won't be for lack of trying. Earlier this week, U of M president M. David Rudd released a Memphis promotional publication — highlighting the finer points of the city and its major university — on his Twitter account. It is the same publication he sent to University of Texas president Dr. Gregory Fenves in December, ostensibly to update Fenves of the U of M's attractiveness as a Big 12 expansion candidate.

The publication is available here.

memphis soul of a city

University of Memphis

Understanding that Fenves will play a key role in the conference's decision to expand that reportedly needs only one more vote to reach the required super majority status, Rudd told the Texas president that he would "welcome the chance to connect via phone and discuss in more depth some of the great things going on in Memphis."

In an apparent play at winning in the court of public opinion as well, Rudd released the 42-page publication highlighting the city's appeal that he had sent to Fenves back in December. Titled "Memphis -- Soul of the City," the promotional material touts the city's influence on modern culture and passion for sports, among other attributes.

"Memphis is the global capital of soul. And that soul is not just in the music, it's in the people," writes Memphis native Justin Timberlake, the famous entertainer.

More than being the global capital of soul, it could also be a new member of the Big 12 in the near future if Rudd has anything to do with it. And while Memphis isn't quite as appealing from a television market size as BYU, ever a favorite in the ongoing Big 12 expansion discussion, it lacks a few key negatives associated with the Cougars and makes sense as a geographic fit with another strong contender in Cincinnati.

Like the Tigers, administrators for the Bearcats have been vocal about interest in joining the Big 12.

So stay tuned -- it should be an interesting summer. Anything to get through the offseason, right?