Big 12 Expansion: The Changing Landscape

Big 12

Nov 17, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (3) leads the offense against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

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Conference realignment has begun once again. In 2010, it was Nebraska going to the Big 10 and Colorado and Utah going to the Pac 10 (now Pac 12). In 2011 it was Texas A&M and Missouri going to the SEC and TCU and West Virginia going to the Big 12. Now with Maryland announcing it’s move to the Big 10, many are trying to figure out which conference will make it’s move next.

Unfortunately the Big 12 has been the conference being poached instead of being the poacher but all that changes now that the first domino falls out of the ACC. The ACC seemed to be falling apart at the seams. So who should the Big 12 target?

Florida State (Likelihood of Happening: 80%)

Florida State is obviously frustrated with it’s lack of respect in the BCS, Jimbo Fisher went on a rant last Saturday after the win against Maryland about the system and it’s flaws:

The hesitation on their end is the history in the ACC, especially with the Miami Hurricanes. If the Seminoles move to the Big 12, they will have to schedule 2 non conference games against Florida and Miami (FL). Sources have indicated that if the Seminoles had to choose one, they would keep the Florida game and drop the Miami game. But we have seen in this conference realignment that rivalries don’t supersede the health and future of a university.

Clemson (Likelihood of Happening: 90%)

Clemson likes being in the ACC but like Florida State, has a rival in the SEC that has a recruiting edge in-state that is tough to overcome. Clemson is looking to get an edge over South Carolina and they have been very open about their displeasure with the ACC. I think if the Seminoles leave, Clemson will leave with them.

Louisville (Likelihood of Happening: 40%)

Louisville really wants to be in the Big 12 and it might happen but only if other teams that the Big 12 were interested in joining the conference would turn down the invitation.

Big 12

Nov 10, 2012; Syracuse, NY, USA; Louisville Cardinals special teams players James Burgess (13) – Sheldon Rankins (98) and Jamaine Brooks (99) prepare to rush for a field goal defense during a game against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 45-26. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-US PRESSWIR

Georgia Tech (Likelihood of Happening: 40%)

Georgia Tech gives the Big 12 a huge presence deep in the heart of SEC country. Atlanta is the Capital of the South and it is the biggest city in the Deep South. So to have a school that is in downtown Atlanta being apart of the Big 12 would be huge. The problem here is the ACC is a conference that prides itself on Academics. Georgia Tech is a very good academic institution that may want to stay with those partnerships.

Virginia Tech (Likelihood of Happening: 20%)

I think Virginia Tech might wait for the SEC to decide if they want to go to 16 before it makes any decision on switching conferences because I believe they would feel more at home in the SEC than in the ACC.

BYU (Likelihood of Happening: 20%)

BYU to Mormans is like Notre Dame to Catholics. It’s their team. That Morman tradition is strong throughout the entire university. The problem is that makes them a pain for sports scheduling. BYU does not play on Sundays and that can cause issues for other sports not named Football. While the BYU fanbase is quite large, the scheduling conflicts that arise for other sports and no other attractive counterpart to invite on the West Coast, it seems that they are out of luck when it comes to getting a Big 12 invite.

Prediction:

The Big 12 will go to 12 teams once again and it will be Florida State and Clemson. Now that a Charter member of the ACC has decided that the conference is not worth staying in, that gives Florida State a reason to get out of the ACC and into the Big 12 where football is king.

Topics: Football, Texas Longhorns

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