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A nine-team Big 12 will likely become nothing more than a carcass along the highway, ripe for the vultures to swoop in and rip it to shreds. The Pac-12 already tried to lure away four more teams last year, so it's likely they'll take another shot at schools such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and maybe even Texas.
Hope they didn't spend too much money on that new logo.
The SEC -- which essentially started all this mess in the early 1990s by adding Arkansas and South Carolina, allowing it to launch a lucrative football championship game -- could set its immediate sights on a school such as Big East member Louisville to balance out an East-West alignment with Texas A&M.
That, in all likelihood, would mark the beginning of the end of the Big East as a football conference. The Atlantic Coast Conference, which already swiped out-of-region Boston College back in 2004, could resume its northward push by going after Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Rutgers.
Of course, Syracuse and Pitt might be of interest to the Big Ten, which could grow to 16 members by adding a couple of schools in the East and maybe picking up a couple more Midwestern leftovers from the Big 12 (Missouri and Kansas?).
Texas is the real wild card in all this. They could join a new conference or go independent in football, like Notre Dame and BYU.
Confused yet? Don't be.
When it's all said and done, we'll have what everyone projected a year ago: A college football world comprised of the very wealthy haves (SEC, ACC, Pac-Something and Big Ten-In-Name-Only) and the begging-on-the-street-corner have-nots (everyone else in Division I).
Sorry, schools such as Baylor and Iowa State, you'll likely be getting a demotion.
The NCAA could even be cast aside by these new mega-conferences, which doesn't sound so bad until you envision what sort of organization they would set up to govern themselves.
In all likelihood, they would drop any charade about being nothing more than pro sports franchises without all those pesky player salaries.
"The expense side of college athletics has become such a focal point," said Brad Bates, the athletic director at Miami of Ohio, which knows it won't be asked to come along on the super-conference ride. "But we've always got to be true to the work of higher education.
"Our primary purpose," he went on, "should be to maximize the development of students. Every decision we make should be guided by the overarching aim of student development. If not, quite frankly, we don't need to be on college campuses."
Hmmm, now we're onto something.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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