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Conference realignment: Big 12 athletic directors are fortifying the conference

COMMENTARY — As the ADs met in Texas, they looked at ways to make the conference stronger for when the next realignment bubble bursts.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 29, 2013

“We feel very good about our current lot in life,” Bowlsby said Tuesday at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas. “We like our revenue distribution, we like our competition, we like our composition. We feel very good about where we are.

“Beyond that, we'd be unwise to be oblivious to all that is going on around us. We need to be constantly vigilant. I think in coming out of these meetings we're prepared very well for that vigilance.”

The Big 12 knows where to set its eyes. A couple of East Coast courtrooms, and the Big Ten boardroom in Chicago.

Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference are engaged in legal battles over the Terrapins' $53 million exit fee to leave the league. If Maryland is held to the $53 million cost, it's a lot less like any other ACC school would jump.

But if there's a crack in the door, the Big Ten seems ready to pounce. Seeking to widen the geographic footprint for its Big Ten Network and to keep adding prestigious academic schools, the league soon could be courting some combination of North Carolina, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Duke.

If the ACC lost two or four more schools to the Big Ten, you don't think Clemson and Florida State would have hot feet? That's what the Las Colinas meetings were about.

The Big 12 is going all Boy Scout on us. Being prepared. It's a nice change.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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