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Nobody Talking About What Happens in Basketball, Baseball

Football matchups is all anyone thinks to bring up with conference realignment but impact will be wider
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Don't expect any comments from Arkansas after last week's bombshell.

That probably doesn't mean they haven't noticed and the guess is a lot of phone activity has been the result from Razorback personnel.

This latest round of conference realignment will have more questions than answers for awhile. For the Hogs they will really only benefit in football from whatever shakes out.

They started all this jumping leagues when they announced in 1990 they were headed to the SEC from the old Southwest Conference. Now they are just going to get bigger checks from whatever happens.

Mike Neighbors-Auburn

You can bet, though, Eric Musselman, Mike Neighbors, Dave Van Horn and some other coaches are paying attention. Sam Pittman is going to have a tough schedule regardless of anything the SEC might do.

Playing in the SEC means it's going to be a killer schedule, regardless of the sport. Adding Texas and Oklahoma whenever is going to make it more competitive.

You didn't think it was going to get easier, did you?

For the basketball guys, though, adding certain teams to the league could make the conference schedule like a months-long NCAA Tournament.

Don't say Duke, North Carolina or Kansas couldn't be added to the SEC. Throw out geography these days. It doesn't matter anymore.

While everybody else is talking about football, which is the driver of the biggest TV dollars, maybe more intriguing is what happens in basketball, softball and baseball.

It was going to get more competitive with the Sooners and Longhorns entering the league. They may not be coming in alone.

With the Big Ten in expansion mode, the most obvious team hanging out there that fits in that league is Notre Dame, that has played some footsie with the ACC that is probably scrambling right now, too.

Forget geography. Don't worry about how good their football or basketball programs could fit in any league.

It's about television markets.

The SEC was No. 2 behind the Big Ten before all this started. They grabbed Oklahoma and Texas to move up.

Adding the Trojans and Bruins promptly topped that simply because that adds the Los Angeles (No. 2) market to a footprint that already had the No. 1 market in New York with Rutgers.

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Again, don't apply your common-sense logic or what's important from the average fan's standpoint. Oh, and remember in college sports the contract is the starting point for negotiations to break it.

It's not about football, either.

And it could make those other sports considerably more competitive, too.

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