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Report: Big East Readying Invitations to Six Schools

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The Big East held a press conference today to say it is going to expand soon, but it declined to say who just yet. CBS Sports' Brett McMurphy, who has owned the Big East expansion story, is reporting that Boise State, Houston, SMU, and UCF are all but in the league already and are waiting until after a BSU board of directors meeting to be announced. Boise would be a football-only member. Navy and Air Force will also be invited as football-only members. If all of those schools join the Big East, it will put the league in an interesting position. It might not be strong enough to keep its BCS auto bid, but it will be far and away better than the rest of the non-AQ leagues. It will also need one more member to get to 12, reportedly its target for membership.

Dr. Saturday on Texas A&M to SEC rumors

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Already, mainstream media outlets and Chip Brown's Twitter feed have linked Texas A&M to the SEC, and Dr. Saturday's take (relying in part on Brown's finished, pay-walled story) includes two relevant details: 1. The SEC and Texas A&M are trying to get Oklahoma to join as well, which would explain the leaks eschewing interest in ACC teams and confirms that the SEC is really not all that interested in staying at 13 with A&M, regardless of what else might be said. Efforts to get Oklahoma seem like a long-shot at best, but winning A&M and OU over would make the SEC exponentially more attractive to Texas and would probably swing public opinion in the Lone Star State the other way; giving up an annual game with the Aggies is one thing, but moving into a conference sans the Sooners is unthinkable. In the end, though, I think getting Texas A&M will be enough for Mike Slive to call it a day and begin to consider other candidates for the 14th team. 2. The SEC also has political support in Texas in the form of Aggie alum U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, most famous among college football fans for his ridiculous effort to legislate a playoff laudable if somewhat misguided effort to strengthen the game for decades to come. How much does having Texas and A&M in different conferences concern him? "Not a bit." As always, this update should be considered final until we hear something else.

Why the ACC should raid the SEC

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Yes, you're reading that correctly. A little light fare for a Friday afternoon. I can only imagine Mike Slive laughing hysterically calling all the teams to make sure they're still committed to the league. (HT: Gobbler Country)

Brace Yourself for the Pac-16, Death of Big 12

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Supposedly this is pretty solid as far as expansion rumors go: the Pac-10 will seriously consider inviting Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado into the fold this weekend. Supposedly Fox would then organize a Pac-16 Network in the same way it did for the Big Ten. Presumably if this happened, the Big Ten would finally get around to inviting Nebraska and/or Missouri and who knows which Big East teams. Apparently the only hangup is A&M, which reportedly is more interested in the going to the SEC should the Big 12 die. The SEC would then have to invite at least one ACC team to bring on the Aggies (because 13-team conferences don't work). We just finished the SEC meetings and no one seemed interested in expansion. Should these dominoes fall, I wonder if the conference would feel the need to go ahead with it anyway. I personally still say no: let the other guys play with thermite first and then decide later. It's not like even if the ACC added four Big East/CUSA teams the SEC couldn't take whoever it wanted. UPDATE 6:37 PM 1. The ADs of Texas A&M and Oklahoma don't sound interested in killing the Big 12 preemptively. A&M guy specifically says he doesn't want to go to the Pac-10. 2. The 12 SEC presidents will discuss expansion tomorrow, but don't plan to be the first mover in the expansion game. UPDATE 2, 6:45 PM As of right now, this link will get you the whole article sans pay wall. UPDATE 3 7:10 PM Slive speaks. He won't comment on the report, but maintains that the SEC is looking at the matter of expansion actively. Key quote: the current TV deals make the SEC the "most widely distributed conference in the country. … We don’t need to get larger for the purpose of distribution." So there you go, straight from the boss's mouth. You don't have to consider TV markets when talking SEC expansion. UPDATE 4 9:00 PM Where there's smoke... The Colorado AD says that he and other school officials believes that six Big 12 schools will get Pac-10 invites as early as this weekend. He has not talked to Pac-10 officials, and Pac-10 commish Larry Scott has denied the report. This to me sounds like either A) someone told this guy about the Rivals report and he's repeating that, or B) he's talked to the the same sources that led to the Rivals report. It's significant that a Big 12 AD is giving credence to this rumor in some respect, but this is far from confirmation if you ask me.

SEC Gets Dubiously Sourced Expansion Rumors

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According to a source talking to Jimmy Hyams of Knoxville sports radio station 990 AM the Sports Animal, Mike Slive has met with CBS to discuss possibilities regarding SEC expansion. Supposedly it would only happen if the Big Ten goes to 16, and the targets would be (predictably) Texas, Texas A&M, FSU, and Clemson. Should the Texas schools decline, the next choices would be Miami and Georgia Tech. The SEC issued a swift denial, so caveat emptor and all that. At the very least this one sounds plausible because Plan A would add two teams to each division and we don't have to worry about schools leaving their current divisions. I will say this though: you couldn't find a worse cultural fit for the SEC in the region than Miami. If you already think that Florida seems sort of like an outsider, Miami would feel like something from another planet.

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