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University Beat

USF Athletics in ACC Crosshairs?

J. Meric

As the seemingly never-ending game of musical chairs continues across the major NCAA conferences, is a seat at the Atlantic Coast Conference's table in the University of South Florida's future?

According to CBS Sports' Jeremy Fowler, USF is one of four Big East schools talking with ACC officials about replacing Maryland, which is reportedly moving to the Big Ten. However, Fowler says a source with knowledge of the situation says the University of Connecticut or Louisville would be the more likely selection (Cincinnati is the fourth reported target school).

This isn't great timing for the Big East, which is immersed in television negotiations with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and others. Among the four, Louisville's probably a better football/basketball program pound-for-pound, but UConn is the better TV market.

In addition, the ACC already has a strong presence in the Sunshine State, with Florida State and the University of Miami as conference members.

CBS Sports also reports that another Big East school, Rutgers, is in talks to move to the Big Ten. After an earlier round of conference realignment, the Big East announced a lineup just last week for two-division play beginning in 2013-14.

The addition of Boise State and San Diego State in football, along with Memphis, SMU, Houston and Central Florida in all sports provided the Big East with its first Big East Championship Game and some stability moving forward. Navy is scheduled to join the Big East in 2015, but the leadership has already indicated an early arrival is unlikely.

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