Conferences expand without expanding

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Realizing bigger isn't necessarily better, the Big Ten and Pac-12 are going ahead with a plan to start regularly competing against one another in the hope that together they can increase their national exposure.

While the partnership is for all sports, the most noticeable changes will be seen in football.

The two 12-team leagues are aiming to create a 12-game inter-conference schedule by the 2017 season that would have each school play an opponent from the other conference every season.

That could mean a steady diet of matchups between heavyweight programs such as Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Big Ten against Pac-12 powers such as Southern California and Oregon -- and fewer games against lower-level Division I programs.