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Big 12 Expansion: Florida State, Notre Dame, Clemson Moves Not Imminent

This has escalated quickly.

After rumors last week appeared that the Big 12 and Florida State might have mutual interest in each other, more speculation came to light about the Big 12 continuing the super-conference movement set forth by the Pac-12 and SEC last year. In addition to Florida State, Clemson and Notre Dame have been closely linked to the Big 12 in recent days.

The ever-reliable Chip Brown of, though, has slowed those rumors some -- for now.

I've talked to sources across the Big 12 today who all say, "Nothing is done."

But in the next sentence, they'll say, "There's keen interest" or "more than curiosity" in looking at different expansion scenarios.

In short, anyone saying Notre Dame, Florida State or Clemson are done deals are talking to people with wishful thinking or relying on second or third-hand information from people with wishful thinking.

Brown's sources essentially echo what Bob Bowlsby, the new Big 12 commissioner, said last week: that he's going to remain vigilant when it comes to expansion, but that nothing is imminent. Still, according to Brown, there are some within the Big 12 that do not favor expansion to a super-conference.

"With this game with the SEC, we are set. We are good. Do we really need to go to 12, 14 or 16 - just to make more TV money?" the source said. "The more schools, the more you have to split up any additional money. At some point, it stops making financial sense."

Still others feel like D-Day is here for superconferences, and the Big 12 is in the best position to grow if football programs like Florida State and Clemson shake loose. (I've been told those two are starting to talk more about moving as a package deal out of the ACC.)

While Brown went out of his way to spell out that nothing is currently imminent in regards to Big 12 expansion, he goes on to say that the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City will be telling -- and that this summer could feature conference realignment akin to what we've seen the past two years.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.