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Conference Realignment: Dan Beebe Not Surprised By Texas, OU; Big East, Big 12 Discuss Merger

In response to the announcements that the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns have both granted their presidents the right to explore conference realignment options outside of the Big 12, conference president Dan Beebe has released an official statement.

"The actions taken today by the governing boards of the universities of Oklahoma and Texas was anticipated. It is my opinion that the case for the Big 12 Conference continues to be as strong today for all of our current members as it was last year, especially considering the welfare of those to whom we owe the greatest responsibility-the student-athletes. We continue to apply all effort and resources toward assuring our members that maintaining the Big 12 is in the best interest for their institutions."

Beebe's not kidding about the Big 12 anticipating this move. The latest rumor is that the remaining members of the conference will meet up with the remaining members of the Big East and form some kind of merged hybrid.

The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk publicly about what is going on behind the scenes, said Monday there has been dialogue between athletic directors and high-level officials in the conference offices.

If Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State leave, that leaves Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Iowa State to scramble for the next best thing. As of this moment, the Big East still has seven football members, though that number could change depending on West Virginia, TCU and other defections.

For more on these schools, check out Texas Longhorns blog Burnt Orange NationOklahoma Sooners blog Crimson And Cream MachineOklahoma State blog Cowboys Ride For Free and Texas Tech blog Double T Nation. And Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes.