Conference Realignment: 5 Things That Could Still Happen
Now that Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has said the conference will not look to expand beyond 12 teams, everyone involved can now take a step back and plan their next moves.
If you think this announcement means all the craziness is over, think again. One thing we have all learned from this mess is that every time we think we have it all figured out, we are proven wrong.
This entire situation has turned into a reality television show. Just when we thought Oklahoma and Texas were forming an alliance, the Sooners take shots at the Longhorn Network.
Mizzouri is that guy that says he's your friend but is always looking for somebody new to hang out with. Problem is nobody else really likes him.
It looks like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are holding hands and won't go anywhere without the other. But, if you don't think there is at least some bad blood between those two rivals you are fooling yourself.
The Sooners have entertained the idea of leaving them behind before and would again if it benefits them. Is this the type of thing that could still come out of all this?
Here are five things that may very well happen despite the announcement from the Pac-12.
SEC Expands and Gives Birth to Super Conferences
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The one thing that doesn't really seem to be talked about too much, is that the SEC has decided to expand to 13 and will be looking to add a 14th team. In fact they may have already reached out to Missouri and made plans to move Auburn to the East Division.
Now we hear that Mizzou is out, but it definitely shows that the SEC has intentions of expanding. Don't be surprised if the Southeastern Conference makes a few moves really soon.
The thing about conference realignment is that any move by one team or conference can cause a domino effect. If another team goes to the SEC, that means a conference like the Big 12 or Big East will have to do something to make up for that loss.
It could also force the hands of the Pac-12 or Big Ten and lead to the birth of the super conference era.
Texas or Pac-12 Give on Longhorn Network Issue and Pac-12 Expands
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There are a couple things to keep in mind about the announcement from the Pac-12 that they will not be expanding: The only thing keeping the conference from inviting the four Big 12 schools was the Longhorn Network. And, the mere fact that the Pac-12 was negotiating such a deal with Texas was because they actually do want to expand.
The Pac-12 and Texas could both be posturing at this point. This isn't the first time we have heard the Pac-12 announce they were not going to expand.
But, sometimes plans change. Just ask the SEC. Last month they actually said they were not going to add Texas A&M and they liked having their current setup of 12 teams.
The Pac-12 may have discovered that Texas is harder to get along with than your girlfriend's fat friend, but that doesn't mean Pac-12 expansion is dead.
Big East Merges with Big 12 To Form First Super Conference
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When it looked as if Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech would be leaving the Big 12, there were talks between the Big 12 and Big East about a merger.
The thing nobody was asking was: Why wouldn't those schools stay in the Big 12 and still take the Big East schools?
Perhaps that is going to happen. According to a report in The Oklahoman, Oklahoma was the one to inform the Pac-12 they would not be applying to join their conference and have been working behind the scenes for some time to save the Big 12.
With people like David Boren working to save the conference, anything is possible.
If Big East schools like West Virginia and Louisville wanted to take a look at the Big 12 and had Oklahoma and Texas left, why wouldn't they want to join a conference that included those teams?
Brigham Young and TCU Join Big 12
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A few weeks ago BYU was rumored to be coming to the Big 12. They later announced they would stay independent. But, I think we know how much we can believe these announcements.
It's likely that their decision at that time was made so they could sit back and see just how stable the Big 12 really was. If Oklahoma and Texas are really staying put, that says plenty about the stability of the conference.
Texas Christian is slated to move to the Big East after this year. Now, the Big East is losing teams to the ACC, and TCU has to be wondering what that means for their future.
Sure, TCU doesn't add anything to the Big 12 as far as a new T.V. market. But, neither did Texas A&M. So, in reality, the Big 12 would just be getting one really good football program and giving up a really overrated football program.
Adding TCU would make sense for many reasons, but the most important would be that it strengthens the conference on the field.
Notre Dame Looks To Join a Conference
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The other thing in all of this that has not been talked about is that with the Big East breaking up, Notre Dame won't have a conference for the rest of its sports teams.
There seems to be a natural fit for the Irish in the Big Ten. But, it could be possible that any conference that takes Notre Dame would request that their football team come with them.
If Notre Dame is smart they will give up their independence. They make big money with NBC right now, but they could possibly make even more in a conference with a big television contract.
The Big 12 has already reached out to Notre Dame. Does a more stable conference with BYU, Oklahoma, Texas and some Big East schools lure the Irish into the Big 12?