The case for the Cougars:
The hope here is that the Cougs would bring the city of Houston, one of the biggest in the nation and the No. 10 media market, into the Big 12 in a meaningful way. Obviously, with Texas and the rest of the state’s schools, the league has a presence there, but Texas A&M’s departure definitely hurts in that area. Houston is peaking at the perfect time for expansion as well. Tom Herman stepped in and immediately made an impact on a national level, keeping blue chip recruits from the city home, and going 13-1 in 2015, with a decisive Peach Bowl win over ACC power Florida State. Houston looked every bit like one of the 10 best programs in all of college football last season, and should only get better, as long as the team can hold on to Herman, who immediately became coaching’s hottest commodity. A Big 12 invite would make leaving far more difficult for him.
The case against the Cougars:
Really, the only knock here is the fact that Houston would give the Big 12 a fifth Texas school. Football-wise, there’s a chance that Herman leaves soon, with the situations at Texas and Texas A&M looking a bit precarious at the moment, and Houston could slip back to the pack, though the Cougars will probably be better off than where he found them.
For short term football benefits, this addition would be pretty seamless. It doesn’t do a ton to expand the conference to new areas, and Houston probably wouldn’t bring the same hype as a Boise State, but few could argue against this as a rock solid addition.