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Land grant institution conferences align to help themselves

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The 66 member AAU is not the most exclusive group in college football's division I, rather the 48 federal land grant institutions are.   Of the 130 universities that play division I football, there are 47 AAU members that play (39 FBS, 12 FCS ).  All of the 48 land grant institutions play division I football and 39 play FBS.  Only 15 land grant institutions are AAU members; Cornell is the only land grant AAU school that plays FCS.

20 land grant institutions play in the Big Ten and SEC.  Nebraska is a land grant institution even if it's not in the AAU.  

The mountain west has five land grant institutions (Colorado State, Hawai'i, Nevada, Utah State, and Wyoming), which is more than the four in the Big 12 and Pac 12, and the three in the ACC.   Yes that is correct the Mountain West has the third highest number of land grant institutions, ahead of the Big 12 and the Pac 12, in FBS football.

Both Washington State and Oregon State are land grant institutions and every land grant is a significant academic institution.  The SEC consists of a majority of land grant institutions that aren't in the AAU so there is every indication that a primarily land grant university can compete at the highest level of college football.

Ideally Wazzou and OSU decide that a Division i FBS conference with a core of land grant institutions is a great place to be with respect to playing college football at the highest level.

Also, splitting the 'pie' ten ways is a lot more appealing than 12  or even 16...

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