Big 12 stays at 10 during conference realignment

Daily Staff

Conference realignment is at it again.

On Wednesday, the Atlantic Coast Conference added Louisville after one of its founding members, Maryland, jumped to the Big Ten Conference in a move that would go into effect in 2014.

This caught the eyes of many in the Big 12 Conference because Louisville was reportedly one of its few candidates if it should expand beyond its current structure of 10 teams.

Even though talk is still circulating about what the Big 12 should do with other conferences such as the Big Ten (Maryland, Rutgers), ACC (Louisville) and Big East (Tulane, East Carolina) expanding, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby still contends that the conference is content at 10 teams.

“You and others may think I’m crazy,” Bowlsby told on Wednesday. “I think no one has proven to me that larger is better. … If we had the opportunity geographically or financially for something that clearly moved the needle, we’d be on them.”

The Big 12’s current grant of rights deal, which was enacted in September and is reportedly worth more than $1 billion, has locked its 10 teams into a 13-year TV deal that provides the financial incentive to abstain from leaving. Under the deal, the Big 12 would retain any television rights of a school if it decides to leave for another conference.