Big 12, Big East Merger Could Be Coming to College Football

There might be a Big 12-Big East merger coming if Oklahoma and Texas head to the Pac-12 Conference. With so many schools entertaining thoughts of leaving the two conferences, the remaining institutions will be scrambling to find a place in the 2012 season.

ESPN reports talks are underway between school officials in the Big East and Big 12, possibly meaning one of the conferences could survive. It is starting to look like the people in charge of the Big 12 would be more amicable to absorbing the remaining Big East schools, though, all in an effort to retain the name right associated with the Big 12 Conference.

There are quite a few projected moves that might take place in the coming weeks, beginning with Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech heading to the Pac-12. Texas A&M is likely going to the SEC, Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave the Big East to join the ACC, and then the SEC will likely accept a bid by West Virginia to join the conference.

In the wake of all those moves, the Big 12 would be left with Missouri, Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, and Kansas State. Through a merger with the Big East, that would pull in Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida, TCU, Connecticut, and Rutgers. This would also be contingent on Connecticut and Rutgers not joining the ACC, though. The remaining teams that would comprise a new Big 12 aren’t as impressive as before, but it would certainly keep the conference alive.

The landscape of college football is a complete mess right now, and everything seems dependent on the money involved in these moves. Schools are looking at how well Nebraska has prospered by leaving the Big 12 and joining the Big Ten this past offseason. The television revenues from the Big Ten Network will leave the school flush with cash for many years to come.

To keep up with that kind of draw for recruits, other schools are scrambling to find big paydays.

When all of the smoke clears, the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, and ACC will be left as the power conferences in college football. It is likely the Big East would no longer exist, meaning an automatic bid into a BCS bowl game would be gone as well. There is also no guarantee the Big 12 would keep its own automatic bid, making it even tougher to figure out how invites to the major bowl games would be decided in the future.

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