IRVING, Texas -- The Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday that it has authorized commissioner Bob Bowlsby to begin exploring expansion candidates.The Big 12 board of directors met in Irving and deliberated on the merits of expansion, hearing presentations from two paid consultants on the issue.Bowlsby is expected to begin contacting schools to gauge their interest in the Big 12 in the coming days.?Its a forward step, a positive step, said Oklahoma president and board chair David Boren, who has been the most outspoken expansion proponent. Not yet a decision ... but it shows momentum on the board to consider [expansion] as a possibility.Boren said expansion by both two schools and four schools will be on the table.?Bowlsby told ESPN that its conceivable the conference would be ready to vote on specific expansion candidates before the boards regularly scheduled meeting in October.The Big 12 has been a 10-team conference since 2012, after Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M and Missouri left during the last major wave of realignment and TCU and West Virginia joined.The conference has been batting around the idea of adding more members for more than a year and begins its search with plenty of suitors. The Big 12 has been getting pitches behind the scenes for months from American Athletic Conference schools such as Cincinnati, UConn, Memphis, Houston and Central Florida. BYU, a football independent, has made it known it wants into a Power 5 conference. Colorado State has also reached out to Big 12 leaders.Weve been contacted by a number of institutions, and I would imagine after this news breaks well be contacted again, Bowlsby said.Big 12 leaders have acknowledged that none of the available schools is a natural fit. None is guaranteed to deliver both highly competitive teams -- especially football teams -- as well as large new markets to increase the value of future media deals.We are looking for members that will grow over time as we grow, Bowlsby said. That bring stability. That have a high top end.Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.? Rougned Odor Jersey .ca! Kerry, Two nights after the Scott-Eriksson incident in Buffalo, the Bruins returned home to play San Jose. In that game, Zdeno Chara put a check on Tommy Wingels that clearly targeted his head. Nolan Ryan Jersey . The deal is pending a physical, assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. 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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana has one last chance to salvage its postseason plans: Beat rival Purdue on Saturday, bring home the Old Oaken Bucket for a fourth straight year and become bowl-eligible.Lose to the Boilermakers at home and they can make holiday plans at home.The Hoosiers have survived this scenario to earn their last two bowl bids -- winning on a late field goal in 2007 and in an 18-point rout of their rival last season. They were hoping to avoid another nerve-wracking season finale, but now they have no choice.Its definitely a little poetic, this is how you would write it up in the books, guard Jacob Bailey said. But like I said, you dont have to hype it up any more than it already is. You have to win the bucket.Looking back, there have been plenty of missed opportunities this season.Richard Lagow threw five interceptions in a 33-28 loss to Wake Forest. The Hoosiers came out flat in a 24-14 loss at Northwestern.Then there were all those close calls against top teams. No. 2 Ohio State scored two touchdowns in the final 19 minutes to pull away for a 38-17 win. No. 10 Nebraska hung on for a 27-22 victory in Bloomington. No. 12 Penn State scored 17 points in the final 3:58 for a 45-31 victory and last weekend No. 4 Michigan scored the final 14 points for a 20-10 victory.Those twists and turns in a sometimes promising, sometimes frustrating season have forced the Hoosiers (5-6, 3-55 Big Ten) back into this high-stakes all-or-nothing game.ddddddddddddI dont want to get any text messages from my buddies about how hard they played and how close they are, Im tired of that, defensive coordinator Tom Allen said. Weve got to find a way to finish.On paper, at least, Indiana appears to have the advantage.The Boilermakers (3-8, 1-7) come to town with six straight losses including all five since interim coach Gerad Parker replaced the fired Darrell Hazell. Purdue has been outscored 128-27 in the second halves of its past five games and allowed No. 6 Wisconsin to run away last weekend with a 35-point scoring flurry in the final 8+ minutes of the first half.Plus, another victory over Purdue would allow Indiana to tie its school record for most consecutive wins (four) in the series. The only other time it has happened came from 1944-47.So in the minds of Hoosiers players and coaches, theres plenty at stake and only one outcome they want to accept: Win and advance.We havent talked about that at all, coach Kevin Wilson said. We need to have a good week. Its a rival, weve had a couple slip away. 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