The Louisville Cardinals were one of the hottest free agents in the college sports realignment world, recently, up until this morning, anyway.
Per several reports this morning, Louisville has been offered a bid by the Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and are almost certain to accept. The move is a no-brainer for the Cardinals given the massive new television deal between the ACC and ESPN from which they can now profit, and aligns the school with new regional rivals that make sense from a logistical and geographical perspective, if nothing else.
The ACC will definitely profit from the addition of Louisville, but two other conferences will suffer from the move. One, obviously, is the Big East who continues to get weaker in terms of competitive balance by the day.
The Big 12.
While the Big 12 is wont to admit it, they are on the prowl for a few additional members to round the conference’s membership back out to at least 12 teams and Louisville was long thought to be a primary target.
With Louisville off the table, and the recent moves to the SEC by the Missouri Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies, the Big 12 is hardly in flux, but will have to turn its expansion attention elsewhere. It’s becoming a foregone conclusion anymore that conferences must expand for its own sake in a constantly changing NCAA landscape.
The move toward mega-conferences seems to mirror the moth toward the flame.
No one knows quite why it is happening– apart from the almighty dollar– but everyone knows they must continue to take part in it.
Who is now on the Big 12′s radar is a subject of much debate. It can’t be Notre Dame since they are now a prohibitive ACC member themselves– another lost opportunity which the Big 12 could have capitalized on.
Regardless of who the target may be, don’t be the least big surprised to see the Big 12 act, and soon.
Even if they don’t necessarily know why they need to.
Kris is the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.