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Are we on the verge of super conferences?
Rumors out of the NCAA's meeting in Dallas are that the Big Ten is not yet done expanding and are looking to add up to four teams. The ACC appears to be their sole honey bucket this time around.
Virginia and Georgia Tech appear to top the list. Both are AAU member schools, which in the past the Big Ten attached utmost importance. However, Nebraska lost it's AAU status soon after joining the Big Ten, so perhaps non-AAU status is not the deal-breaker it once was. Duke and North Carolina are both AAU members and possible Big Ten targets. Florida State is not a member of the AAU, but could be a target due to their strong sports programs and presence in the Florida television market. Miami could be a target for the same reasons. No overtures by the Big Ten are expected until after the Maryland/ACC lawsuit over exit fees is settled.
If the Big Ten does raid the ACC for four teams and expands to 16 teams, that would certainly lead the other big three conferences to look to bring in more teams in the race for fatter television contracts. Geographically and monetarily, the SEC would have a huge advantage in attracting the best teams in the best television markets. The Big 12 seems paralyzed with indecision since bringing in West Virginia to cover their loss of three schools. The Pac-12 has been picky about the academic standards of their invites, and they have a big problem with the geographical locations of the most desirous schools.
If the super conferences are coming sooner rather than later, the Pac-12 and the Big 12 might be the odd men out when it comes to dividing up the ACC and Big East pies. Will we have two super conferences and two 'major' conferences, or will the Pac-12 and Big 12 pick up scraps to chase the television dollars?