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ACC push to upsize not good for Big 12

ACC push to upsize not good for Big 12

Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 7:03 pm

By JEFF LATZKE
AP College Football Writer
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — After the ACC made a surprise move into the conference realignment shuffle, the spotlight now shifts back to the Big 12.
The regents governing powerhouses Oklahoma and Texas are set to hold meetings two hours apart this afternoon to discuss their conference affiliations, with the chance that either one — or both — could join Pittsburgh and Syracuse in as this summer’s programs on the move.
The trend toward 16-team superconferences picked up steam Sunday when the Atlantic Coast Conference announced it was officially picking off the two longtime Big East schools to continue cannibalizing its northern neighbor. Virginia Tech, Miami and Boston College had already left the league for the ACC in recent years, and now the Big East is left trying to hang on to its five football members and find a way to survive in an ever-changing college sports landscape.
But what impact will that have on the Big 12?
David Boren, Oklahoma’s university president, made it known more than two weeks ago that his school was shopping for a possible new home for the second straight summer after entertaining thoughts of joining what would become the Pac-12 or the SEC.
Instead, the Sooners decided to be content in a downsized, 10-team Big 12 — until Texas A&M, frustrated by rival Texas’ Longhorn Network, further fractured the conference by seeking out a spot as the SEC’s 13th member.
Boren said he expected Oklahoma’s decision to come within a three-week span that runs out this week, conveniently after the board of regents is poised to grant him the power to choose a new conference Monday at a meeting in Tulsa. Texas’ regents will meet two hours later in Austin with the same move on their agenda.
“This time things seem to be moving more quickly than a year ago,” said Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti, refusing to commit to the Big East nor express interest in joining the exodus to the ACC. “If that’s a sign of things to come, it is hard to say, but I do think as more pieces continue to be in motion it starts to trickle down to more people in the process.
“I would imagine the next 30 days are going to be a telling period of time for our entire industry.”
With two teams already leaving last year — Nebraska to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac-12 — the Big 12 is in a precarious position as its two richest, most powerful programs flirt with new partners. Oklahoma State is likely to follow Oklahoma wherever it goes, and Texas Tech would likely do the same with Texas.

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