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if Missouri leaves -- and as of this morning the prevailing theory was that the Tigers were still...

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if Missouri leaves -- and as of this morning the prevailing theory was that the Tigers were still focused on joining Texas A&M as the 13th and 14th members of the SEC -- the Big 12 would make a move to go from 9 to 12 teams with Big East members Louisville and West Virginia as the prime schools on their wish list. Such a move might also happen even if Missouri remains. With the uncertainty of the Big East future, both schools would make the move. "Once that happens, all sorts of things happen, none of them good for the Big East,'' said one Big East source. "Without those two schools, the non-football (7 members) would say they had enough and break off on their own. Notre Dame would be forced to make a decision and probably head to the ACC, (which has openly said that any expansion beyond 14 teams would probably be predicated on Notre Dame being one of the teams). If Notre Dame goes, then UConn would be the 16th team on that list.'' Without Louisville, West Virginia or Louisville, the Big East would be reduced to three survivors--Rutgers, South Florida and Cincinnati. Of that group, Rutgers would have the best chance of hooking up with a BCS conference, with the Big 10 the most likely, if only realistic, possibility.

The Boston Globe proclaims that Missouri holds the fate of an entire conference in its hands. No pressure, right?
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