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4-1-Zoo: Possible Big East Expansion Scenario Leaks

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The saga continues and more and more rumors are beginning to leak out regarding big-time change in the Big East.

The New York Post reports the Big East is interested in growing to 12 teams in football and 20 teams in basketball to create its own super conference. No sources are named in the report, which always raises an eyebrow, but several break down how the proposed conference alignment would work out.

Per the New York Post:

The Big East has studied the creation of four five-team divisions in basketball and two divisions — East and West — in football, The Post has learned.

In basketball it could mean each school having home-and-home games with the other four schools in its division and then playing crossover games from schools in other divisions. Some schools wouldn’t play each other in a given year.

Football would split along geographical lines with Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Cincinnati, Louisville and TCU in the West Division, and UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, South Florida and West Virginia in the East.

Division winners would meet in a true conference championship game, with a BCS bowl game on the line.

If super conferences take over college football, which seems likely over the next five years, we’ll all have to adjust to how conferences work. Teams within the same conference won’t play each other on a yearly basis and schedules won’t be as predictable as they are now.

As a Pitt fan right now you know that you can reverse the schedule from the previous year — make all home games away games and the reverse — and you’ve got the following season’s in-conference schedule. That will be long gone.

Conferences will have to come up with ways to make the huge alignments work. This proposed strategy makes some sense and really, a 12-team conference is nothing new in football. The basketball side of things is interesting — five divisions … odd numbers aren’t really preferred.

All of the prospective ways to make an expanded conference will be figured out if the money is there, and that’s what this is really about. The Pac-12 signed a $4 billion TV deal. Next November the Big East can do the same and with a conference that spans from the northeast to the midwest and in to the south — including markets like New York, Pittsburgh and the Dallas-Fort Worth area (TCU joins in 2012) — the league could demand a higher figure.

As I feel compelled to do at the end of every one of these college expansion pieces, I’ll again say to take this and all reports with a grain of salt. We are so far away from anything concrete taking place.

We think the Big 12 is going to fold but we don’t know that for sure. Everything depends on the University of Texas, and until the Longhorns make a decision we’re all forced to speculate.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog
Twitter.com/Chris_Gates
Chris.Gates@cbsradio.com