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What will happen to remaining Big 12 and Big East teams?

September 20, 2011 | 10:25 am

Question_275 With Syracuse and Pittsburgh departing the Big East and Oklahoma and Texas likely to leave the Big 12, there's talk of a possible merger of the two conferences as they fight for survival. Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss that possibility and others as teams try to keep up with realignment in college football.

Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to join the discussion with a comment of your own.

Chris Dufresne, Los Angeles Times

Think "blended family." You know, like "The Brady Bunch."

If Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech leave the Big 12 for the Pac 16, look for the depleted Big East to join the depleted Big 12 to form The Leftovers. Should Rutgers and Connecticut eventually join Pittsburgh and Syracuse in the ACC, the geographic edge goes to the Big 12.

Assume Missouri becomes the SEC's 14th team. The "Mid" East might be Baylor, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, West Virginia, Texas Christian. Then bulk up by adding Boise State, SMU, Houston. Or maybe add some Rice if you're thinking academics.

This patchwork life raft might hold until the next big expansion wave. Or not.

[Updated at 1:18 p.m.:

Jeff Otterbein, Hartford Courant

So much is still in flux in the ever-changing world of conference realignment. The Big East has already lost two teams, Syracuse and Pitt, to the ACC. The conference could lose more. Certainly UConn and Rutgers from the Big East would like to land in the ACC. The Big 12 figures to be crumbling soon as four teams, led by Texas and Oklahoma, figure to depart.

That leaves whoever remains in the Big East and Big 12 needing each other and coming together to form a league that doesn’t solve the problems of those in it. Travel will be an issue since that league would stretch so far. It still would be way behind the ACC, SEC, Pac 12 and Big Ten in status. And its members would be ripe to be cherry-picked at another time.

Sad times for the Big East and Big 12.

Bottom line: You get in this league and you have a fix, but for how long?]


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