Continued from page 1

There already has been speculation that West Virginia would be a target for the SEC to balance out that conference and grow to 14 members if and when Texas A&M finally joins.

Until now, the focus of this most recent round of realignment had centered on the Big 12. Oklahoma could be leaving for the Pac-12 and taking Oklahoma State with it. Texas has stated its desire to keep the Big 12 together, but the Pac-12 could be an option as well as football independence, a la Notre Dame, which competes in the Big East in all other sports.

There also have been reports linking Texas to the ACC, a move that could include Texas Tech. Other reports indicated two more Big East teams — Connecticut and Rutgers — could be under consideration by the ACC.

While the addition of Syracuse and Pitt brings the ACC to 14 members, 16 might make more sense. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has said his league is set with 12, but could reconsider if other conferences make additions.

When the Big Ten was looking to expand last summer, there was plenty of speculation about Big East schools on the Big Ten’s target list.

But the Big Ten added only Nebraska from the Big 12, and a few months later the Big East announced TCU from the Mountain West Conference was joining the league next year.

Complicating matters for the Big East, different numbers of its schools play football and basketball, and they often have different agendas. The nonfootball members — which include Georgetown, Marquette and Villanova — help make it one of the nation’s strongest basketball conferences. The other football-playing members are West Virginia, Rutgers, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.

Associated Press writer Ralph D. Russo in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this report.