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College Football Expansion: In The "Who Didn't See This Coming" Category, Big East & Big 12 To Merge?

In what has to be the most logical moves ever, the Big East and Big 12 are reportedly talking merger. That's right - you there, South Florida and Texas Tech can get in on the fun of college expansion.

Don't look so down, Iowa State - you're invited, too.

Seriously, though, I've mentioned this lots of times here and in other venues (most recently, here in the comments section yesterday) - it makes oodles of sense for the Big East/Big 12 to be talking like this right now:

A person involved in the discussions tells The Associated Press that school and conference officials from the Big East and Big 12 have been discussing ways to merge what's left of the two leagues if Texas and Oklahoma leave the Big 12.

The Big East teams sure better hope it's the Big 12 that does the initiating. If it's left up to John Marinatto, it will probably never happen.

So does this really make sense? I think so.

First off, the move is predicated on the fact that Texas and Oklahoma leave. If they stay, I'm sure they'll take their ball, mix in a bit of Tulsa, Houston, BYU, and start over. But assuming it happens, this is great news for the Big East. While the remaining conference wouldn't be great, it would be solid. Okay, now the fun stuff - who'd be included?

It's looking more and more like West Virginia and UConn could be gone. Rutgers and their fancy schmancy NY/NJ market, too. So that leaves TCU (if they stuck around - think they might be likely to with something like this happening), Louisville, Cincinnati, South Florida from the football side Big East. All three programs have had ups and downs in football, but have also been fairly dominant at some point, too - more dominant than Pitt in recent years, that's for sure.

From the Big 12, step right up, Iowa State, Baylor, and Texas Tech. I think everyone else finds new homes.

Are those seven with a few others from C-USA, etc. enough? Not likely. That's why the success of this will hinge on a few things - mostly, getting a few teams like Kansas, Kansas State, and Rutgers to stick around. Again, it wouldn't be a killer conference, but one that keeps a BCS AQ bid?