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College Football Expansion: 5 Teams the Big Ten Should Pursue

John RozumCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2011

College Football Expansion: 5 Teams the Big Ten Should Pursue

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    The expansion into super-conferences is an unfortunate reality for college football today.

    The Big 12 and Big East were great conferences and although they're not gone yet, it's hard to believe that they'll be around much longer.

    With that said, the Big Ten is then most likely to expand and be one of those super-conferences.

    And since that appears to be where college football is headed, here are five team the Big Ten should pursue.

    Note: Listed schools are more from a geographic perspective than in terms of competition.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    This one has been discussed for years and years, but Notre Dame hasn't bit on any conference offers.

    That said, they may not have a choice when it comes time for super-conferences and the Big Ten is the most reasonable solution.

    For starters, the Irish already have rivals Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue in the Big Ten so it's a no-brainer.

    In addition, Notre Dame may get more fans and gain some respectable notoriety from their haters in finally joining a conference.

Iowa State Cyclones

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    In the Big 12 the Iowa State Cyclones were basically the bottom of the barrel each season.

    This year however, ISU is 3-0 and has beaten in-state rival Iowa of the Big Ten as well as Connecticut (2010 Big East Champions).

    Therefore, it's clear that the Cyclones' program is on the rise and with in-state rival Iowa already a part of the Big Ten, it should be an automatic choice for the conference to pursue them.

    Not to mention it would only enhance the Iowa-Iowa State rivalry, which we all know would intensify if they're in the same division of the Big Ten.

Missouri Tigers

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    From a geographic perspective, having the Missouri Tigers join the Big Ten makes sense.

    It's not too far south from Lincoln, NE, where the Cornhuskers play, and also the Tigers have proven to be a solid Big 12 football school from time to time.

    So, much like the Iowa State Cyclones from the Big 12, the Missouri Tigers are also an easy choice.

    Plus, it would renew a pretty solid rivalry between Nebraska and Missouri.

West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Although it may seem more likely for West Virginia to join the ACC along with former Big East schools such as Miami and Virginia Tech, the Big Ten isn't out of the question.

    To begin, Morgantown, WV is not too far from Ohio as well as Happy Valley, so in terms of which division they'd be in, it's clear to be the Leaders with Ohio State and Penn State.

    Now, despite the fact that the Mountaineers don't really play Big Ten-esque football, they would spruce up the conference and be another ranked team for it each year.

    As we all know, West Virginia has basically ruled the Big East as of recent, so it's safe to say the Mountaineers would only make the Big Ten stronger.

Kansas Jayhawks

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    Even though the Kansas Jayhawks were much like the Iowa State Cyclones in the Big 12 in being at the bottom, the Jayhawks did have a few years in which they were relevant.

    And in addition to that, with other Big 12 schools in Iowa State and Missouri already previously mentioned on this list, it's not out of the question for Kansas to follow.

    Also, Kansas makes decent geographic sense and would most likely be positioned in the Legends Division of the conference.

    Be sure to check out John on Bleacher Report.

    And you can follow him on Twitter @ Sportswriter27.

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