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Conference Realignment: Big East-Big12 Merger Is Dead

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Late last night news broke from the west coast that the Pac-12 does not intend to expand the conference any further. This affects nearly everyone across the country - but most directly affects the Big 12. Oklahoma had announced earlier that they intended to stay in the Big 12 if certain expectations were met - most notably the removal of commissioner Dan Beebe (and also some regulations on that whole Longhorn Network thing you might have heard of).

But the Pac-12 announcement basically means that the Big 12 is going to stay together, something that most of the Big 12 presidents wanted anyways.

The Big 12 staying together directly affects the Big East, which was considering a potential merger with the Big 12 leftovers (think Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State) that would have given homes to the football schools of both conferences. Those talks are now dead in the water.

So what's left? Well, now Syracuse and Pittsburgh panicked for absolutely no reason and left for the ACCC and the SEC is now stuck at 13 teams after adding Texas A&M. As for the Big East, they still got screwed a bit by Syracuse and Pitt leaving the conference with just 7 football programs for the future.

That means they'll need to add 5 more members to get that elusive championship game they desire, and to strengthen their position for their next TV rights negotiation. John Marinatto says that the conference is committed to remaining together and aggressively recruiting replacements for Pitt and Syracuse. Early reports indicate that Navy and Air Force have been discussed the most.

Assuming that happens, that puts us right back to square one. Three spots will remain, and Villanova will continue to work to gain one of those spots as a football-member of the Big East.


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