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What's Next for Big 12 in Conference Realignment?

Exploring the future of the Big 12 as conference realignment rumors continue to swirl.

As conference expansion rumors continue to swirl following the recent news of USC and UCLA ditching the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, the reality of super conferences inches closer and closer. 

The Big Ten and SEC are both set to expand to 16 teams in the coming years, with the Big 12 set to return to 12 teams upon the departure of Texas and Oklahoma. However, how the Big 12 responds beyond the addition of their four new schools will tell the story of how successful the conference is moving forward. 

While it might appear on paper that the Big Ten and SEC are done expanding with 16 teams, that must be taken with a grain of salt. After all, who could have predicted that before last year Texas and Oklahoma would bolt to the SEC while UCLA and USC ditch the Pac-12 for the Big Ten? 

The most likely outcome of this round of realignment shenanigans is super conferences of 18 and possibly even 20 teams. Again, how the Big 12 reacts moving forward will be paramount to the success of the conference. Rather than be reactive to more teams moving conferences, they need to be proactive in poaching Pac-12 schools. 

One scenario is bringing Colorado back to the Big 12 over a decade after they left, along with the two Arizona schools and Utah. With an uncertain future for college sports, one thing stands true. If the Big 12 does not act fast moving forward, they may very well find themselves left in the dust of conference realignment

You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98

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