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November 21, 2011

Update on realignment and UT's 2012 Turkey Day game

Two Big 12 administrators said it appears that Missouri will indeed be in the Southeastern Conference for the 2012-13 school year and that West Virginia will be in the Big 12 next year.

The deadline for scheduling football for the 2012-13 school year is the first week of December. And there was some concern that legal snafus involving West Virginia's departure from the Big East could cause the Big 12 to try to hold Missouri in the conference for next year.

But the Big 12 sources said West Virginia will leave for the Big 12 despite its legal wrangling with the Big East over that league's 27-month departure waiting period.

The dragging out of this process has caused the scheduling of games for the 2012 season to draw out and could lead to changes for Texas when it comes to Thanksgiving Day.

Initially, a source close to the situation said Texas would face Texas Tech on Thanksgiving in 2012. But Texas is pushing for the right to play all of its future Thanksgiving Day games at home in Austin and rotate opponents, rather than lock into a home-and-home with one school.

There were scheduling concerns about how that game would play on other campuses. For instance, Texas Tech normally gives its students the Friday after Thanksgiving Day off, meaning the campus is largely empty on Thanksgiving Day.

Tech was willing to give its students the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend off (and have a full day of classes on the Friday after Thanksgiving) to try to keep the students around for a football game.

But it appears momentum is moving toward allowing Texas to always host the Thanksgiving Day game beginning next year, when its current Thanksgiving Day rival - Texas A&M - moves on to the SEC, sources said.

TCU and Baylor would be among the candidates if Texas gets the right to host the Thanksgiving Day game in 2012, sources said.

Stay tuned.


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