Conference Realignment: Air Force Has Offer To Join Big East, According To Report

The Air Force Falcons might be targeted as one prospective entrant for the Big 12 or the Big East

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Air Force Still A Big 12 Expansion Target, According To Report

Though Pac-12 expansion appears dead and the Mountain West is considering a football-only merger with Conference USA, the Big 12 still exists at nine teams for now. However, much remains to be seen with Oklahoma's and Texas' futures. Oklahoma president Dan Boren wants current Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe relieved of duties. Once that happens, reports John E. Hoover of the Tulsa World, Boren would agree to keep Oklahoma in the Big 12 and seek expansion for the conference:

The source also said if Beebe was removed (it is believed Boren has enough votes to make that happen), Boren would agree to a 10-team Big 12 that included BYU, TCU or Air Force, or a 12-team league that included all three.

One of those three is not like the others and it's Air Force. TCU would be the highest-profile team to bring in, but the school is set to move to the Big East in 2012. If they decide to break away they would need to deal with a Big East commissioner that isn't letting go of Pitt and Syracuse until 2014 (though a buyout could accelerate that). BYU is a brand football, which makes their possible addition to the Big 12 sensible.

Air Force, though, doesn't bring in a media market, even though they would take the spot that Colorado vacated this year with its move to the Pac-12. The prestige of a service academy helps, but Air Force is likely the third school on their list should expansion happen.

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Big 12 Interested In Air Force, According To Report

The 2011 college football season is already underway, but Texas A&M's planned departure from the Big 12 has placed conference realignment in high priority. The Big 12 wants to survive and they are looking for new schools. According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, the Big 12 is interested in Air Force, but there are at least four other schools the conference is interested in. 

Those other teams? Arkansas, BYU, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Clearly the Falcons would not be the first choice. As Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette tweets, the Big 12 would be interested in Air Force for its geographic location, taking up the spot the Colorado Buffaloes held before 2011. 

Of course, there's always that monkey in the room of other teams departing the Big 12. Texas could leave, Oklahoma might want to as well. Anyone want to think about the Pac-14? Let's just stick with the game on the field that starts this week.

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