Today, in the world of collegiate athletics, it seems that most of the talk is about conference expansion. The Big 12 conference is no different.

There have been ample rumors of various ACC schools wanting to join the Big 12 conference including, Miami (Fl), Clemson and Georgia Tech. Also according to the SportingNews, Louisville wants out of the Big East, and they are interested in Big 12 and ACC.

If the Big 12 were to expand, Notre Dame and Florida State should be their clear cut targets, and not the schools aforementioned. Joe Schad, of College Football Live, even stated that "the Big12 is shooting for first tier teams like Florida State or Notre Dame, but they may even look at second tier teams like Clemson and Louisville."

The statement from Joe Shad was confirmed by Brett Murphy and Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com, the Big 12 is in fact courting Notre Dame and Florida State respectively.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said "We (Big 12) could expand to some number, you name the number -- 12, 14, 16. We could expand but the question is 'do we need to expand?' In my mind, 10 is perfect because you play everybody in football and there is a double-round-robin in basketball.".

In the eyes of most fans, college expansion is all about the money. The Big 12 is close to joint television contracts from both Fox and ESPN that would pay $1.2 and $1.3 billion respectively to the league over the next 12 years, solidifying the conference through the 2025 season.

So why would the current 10, Big 12 schools want to split the pot with potentially two, four, or even six new teams. Sure the Big 12 conference would generate a little extra revenue from a potential Big 12 title game for football, but with the new contract situation is it even necessary?

If the Big 12 can get their hands on Florida State and Notre Dame, it would truly be a smart move, because of the history and prestige of the programs. Why should the Big 12 settle for less, especially when those other potential schools may need the Big 12 ,more than Big 12 needs them?

If the Big 12 did not expand right away for football, the Big 12 schools could just play Notre Dame in all other sports which includes basketball. If the Big East continues to fall apart, the Big 12 would be the perfect fit.

"Notre Dame has options," Dodds said. "I think they love their position. I certainly think they can continue to do what they're doing and do it well and be a major player. But they have options.”

"We've talked to Notre Dame about the Big 12 ... They could put some football here [by playing a few non-conference games against Big 12 opponents]."

Not matter what, the Big 12 has a bright future ahead in the collegiate landscape. They no longer have to worry about being raided, they can now just pick and choose.

What do you think? Comment below and join the discussion. Should the Big 12 Expand?

Reginald McIntyre Jr. is a
contributing writer for FootBasket. He also contributes at Hoops Authority and A-list Sports Sanctuary. Follow him on Twitter @McIntyre_II.


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