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Big 12, Pac 10 Mating Dance Has Begun

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With talk of the Big 10 expansion in the background, officials from the Big 12 and the Pac 10 met Wednesday and Thursday in Phoenix to discuss collaborating on future schedules and possibly working together on television contracts.

The meetings in Phoenix were held as part of the Pac-10’s annual gathering which included coaches, athletic officials, network TV officials and sponsors. Nothing was finalized, as Texas AD Deloss Dodds and Nebraska's Tom Osborne could not attend the meeting.

The rumors right now have Missouri and Nebraska being courted by the Big 10 for its mega-expansion plans. The Pac 10 is especially eager to form an alliance since their TV pacts with ABC/ESPN and Fox run out in 2012 and they are expected to begin negotiations this year. The Big 12 TV contracts currently are set through 2016 with ABC/ESPN and the Fox pact runs out in 2012.

The two leagues are looking at "enhanced" non-conference scheduling featuring early season games between the two leagues, which would help both leagues in TV negotiations.

Right now there is no talk of a merger, as both leagues want to keep their own identity. The Big 12 will hold its annual meeting in Kansas City next month.