NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Big 12 Year in Review
February 3, 2010, 08:09 AM
Zach Bigalke: Looks like I???m going to plop back into the captain???s chair for this Big XII preview. With us as usual are John Mitchell, recovering from a car accident that was the impetus for my filling in as anchor, and Matt Strobl. It???s nice to see you both here again.

John Mitchell: I???m just glad that I came out in better shape than my car. I???m glad we don???t treat people like we do cars. If they cost too much to fix up, then just total it and move on.

Matt Strobl: He must have been distracted by the Mark Ingram Fathead he plastered on his windshield. I kept telling him that a wall would have been a better place for it.

Bigalke: Remember, kids... obstructions are bad, m???kay?

Talk has come up recently about the Missouri Tigers and how the Big Ten is courting them to become a twelfth member of the more senior conference. Would the Tigers be wise in chasing the money to the Midwestern conference, or are they better suited to remaining in the Big XII North?

Mitchell: They would probably be a better fit remaining in the Big XII, because they play in a weaker Big XII North. Now, if they played in the Big XII South, I would say they should move on to the Big Ten, because they wouldn???t consistently be able to compete with Texas and Oklahoma . Missouri will always be competitive in the Big XII North, and have a shot at playing one of the big boys from the other division in the conference title game for the right to play in a BCS bowl game. I do believe that the Big Ten needs a conference title game, along with all the BCS schools. If they are looking for a twelfth team, then they need to look no further than the Big XII North to find that team. That team is not Missouri , but Iowa State . The Cyclones made a bowl game this year, and will do that from time to time, but they will never be consistently competitive in the Big XII, and could use a change of scenery.

Strobl: Given the current system imposed by the BCS, the Big Ten desperately needs a twelfth team. It would allow the league to hold a championship game which would further reduce the long layoff between the end of the regular season and the bowl games- something that the Big Ten is already working on with the addition of a mandatory bye week. The most obvious choice for an addition is Notre Dame, but given its current sweetheart deal with NBC and the BCS, the Irish have no motivation whatsoever to change the status quo. If you look around the country, there aren???t many other options. The Big Ten could probably woo a Big East team, but the move would leave the latter conference with too few teams and would necessitate additional shifts that, in the end, would be complicated. Cincinnati , Pittsburgh , and West Virginia would all be solid additions, but if one leaves the 8-team Big East, which is already the smallest of the FBS conferences), it would spell trouble for the whole division. The Big East could never allow such a move unless it had an arrangement with a replacement- probably another conference USA team like ECU. But moving a C-USA program would drop that division to fewer than 12 teams and create havoc with its organization. One option would be to have Troy move from the Sun Belt to C-USA (which would frankly be a better fit for the Trojans), have ECU jump to the Big East, and have UC or Pitt move to the Big Ten. But let???s face it- those are a lot of moving parts. It???s unlikely that we???ll see a realignment of that magnitude, and so the Big Ten has to turn its attentions elsewhere.

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