College Football, Pac 10 Wants Texas and Colorado

The Pac-10 is seeking to expand for the first time in 33 years when they last added my two alma maters, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University (sometimes referred to as Temple Normal Women’s Teacher College).

Speculation has been rampant with initial reports announcing the the University of Utah had accepted and will become the 11th member, but those were quickly shot down (sort of).

Not since the Texas legislature blackmailed both the University of Texas and Texas A&M University into retracting their acceptance into the Pac-10 in 1994 have rumors been so rampant as to possible candidates.

The Pac-10 is the premiere all-sports conference in the country, more importantly, they have the most athletic and superior football programs as well.  No conference comes close with NFL-level talent to that of the Pac-10′s.

Why the expansion?

The current television contract expires soon and with the dearth of college football revenue sky-rocketing the Pac-10 wants to cash on their product.  With a new commissioner and negotiations for a new contract to begin within two years, the Pac-10 has made it known that they are open for business (so to speak).

The college football blogosphere has gone into overdrive on breaking speculation of the criteria and candidates.  Let me say that, unless the variables have changed since I last was in Pac-10 country, they are looking for a school with strong academic credentials as well as a strong overall athletic program.  So yes, football is important, but it will not be THE factor.

For example, look at the SEC, they invited both mediocre football programs South Carolina and Arkansas, and that hasn’t hurt their bottom line.

Secondly, the Pac-10 is big on tradition.  We like our schools to have traveling rivals, ie, USC-UCLA, UofA-ASU, Stanford-Cal, Oregon-Oregon State, and Washington-Washington State.  This may be tweaked or altogether downgraded significantly due to the current college landscape.  So if you say Nebraska, then throw in Kansas, since they’re geographically in the same area of the country.

Finally, what will their economic impact be.  Big city, nationwide following, etc., ie, what can they bring to the table.

So here are my top picks, in order of most likely to not so likely:

The following three scenarios are the most possible.

1.  Colorado and Utah.  They are culturally West-Coast, not Midwestern or Southern.  Strong academics, athletics, and a beautiful college town (Boulder yes, Salt Lake ok).  Would fit in nicely within the Pac-10 as far as geography.  CU’s rival is Colorado State, but don’t count on CSU being invited along with CU, though stranger things have happened (get back to this later).  Denver is a growing city and the reputation of CU nationwide is strong.  Sorry Big XII, you aren’t that special for CU to stay, reality can be cruel.  Plus Utah has been winning BCS bowl games left and right with impunity.

2.  Texas A&M and Texas.  They supersede the first two in athletics, academics, geography, economic impact, natural rivals and tradition, but these are Big Dogs that want their own Texas-centric conference.  Though with sour memories of the imploding South West Conference in mind and the Big Ten eyeballing Big-XII programs, they may jump and Go West!

To be honest, #1 is the one that will happen.  Texas A&M-Texas want to be their own Big Dogs in THEIR conference, not USC-UCLA’s conference.  But if the Big XII dissolves, say “Hola dude!”

These next three are not as possible, but it could happen:

3.  Colorado and Colorado State.  Rivalry is strong, but CSU just isn’t “there” yet.

4.  TCU and SMU.  Same as #3, SMU isn’t “there” yet, plus TCU wants to be in a Texas-centric conference, ie, the Big-XII.

5.  Utah and Boise State.  If everything falls apart above and the Pac-10 becomes desperate, then these two will have to do.

6.  There’s a less than 5% chance of #’s 3-5 happening, but I’ll throw them up there anyway for fun.

7.  Sorry, Hawaii, Fresno State, San Diego State, UNLV, BYU and Nevada.  Pac-10 won’t admit anymore California schools, Hawaii is just too small, and UNLV and Nevada have the most promise in all of college football, but have failed miserably these past ten years to capitalize on the highest rate of population and business growth in the country.  BYU fans don’t spend well on the road and their academics don’t stand up.

8.  The rest, maybe in another 33 years some of you all will be considered.  Don’t lose hope,  Michigan and Ohio State would look good in the Pac-16 come 2043.  ;)

Epilogue:

  • The Pac-10 may even expand to 14 teams, but this is the Pac-10 where tradition is taken more seriously than the Ivy League schools (c’mon, you go to a Wisconsin tailgate you get beer and brats, you go to a UCLA tailgate you get wine and cheese, no joke).  So the new Pac-10 commissioner, Larry Scott, is going to have to do one HELL of a sales job to convince the stodgy-tradition bound university presidents to get them to approve of two teams much less four.
  • And who said the Big Ten only wants to expand to 12?  Insiders say they are looking to Nebraska and Kansas, in addition to Missouri to become the Big-14.  So figure in that and Texas A&M and Texas may be taking second looks at the Pac-10 not wanting to be in a depleted conference of the Big XII (and possibly dissolve).
  • Big XII.  You guys were never more than a glorified Big-8.  Be satisfied picking apart the Mountain West Conference for BYU and TCU and possibly Houston and SMU from Conference USA (in that order).
  • The Big East will be renamed the Big Least if the Big Ten looks eastward to expand as they swallow up either Pittsburgh, Rutgers, or Syracuse (in that order).

Final Words:

Texas A&M and Texas is the most ideal for the Pac-10.  But Texas is being courted by the Big Ten.

Realistically, It’s going to be Colorado or nothing.

My bets, Colorado becomes the 11th member.  If Colorado declines, forget Utah, Pac-10 wants big and they won’t take anything short of Boulder or Austin.  But if Colorado accepts then Utah comes in on their coattails*! All this will happen before the end of this year.  Because the Pac-10 wants their lineup set up by the time television contract negotiations come around

You heard it hear first!

And the name of the new Pacific 10 conference?

The 12 PAC!

_._

* If Texas turns down the Big Ten and Colorado takes the Pac-10 offer, look for Texas to think twice and possibly jump in the Pac-10 with Colorado.  Unless of course the Texas legislature gets their mangy nose in it again and you could see Texas A&M come in with Texas.  And either Colorado gets their offer rescinded or the Pac-10 stays at 13 or asks for a 14th member.  Which would be another pandora’s box of either Utah, Oklahoma or Nebraska.

19 Responses to College Football, Pac 10 Wants Texas and Colorado

  • Todd says:

    I’m surprised it’s taken as long as it has for the PAC-10 and Big Ten to get their big-revenue championship game. Tradition is one thing, but tv money you take to the bank… I mean investments… I m ean bigger athletic facilities and fat coaching contracts.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    “[M]ost athletic and superior football programs”? Heh. I think the SEC would have something to say about that. Top to bottom just no contest. And no, I’m not an SEC fan at all. I’m a Dukie and it is ACC all the way for me.

    That said, these conference re-alignments are indeed driven by dough, but they do fatigue fans who are care more about tradition and rivalries.

    The 12-Pac is a great name, though. Won’t happen of course for obvious reasons, but too bad.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Todd,

    You have a point.

    But when you have the Rose Bowl locked in, at the time, you are at the top, so why change?

    I hope the new commissioner is able to change the minds of Pac-10 presidents. They accepted a men’s basketball tournament, so things can change.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Tito,
    You need to head to GA, ALA, FLA, LSU, etc. You’ll change your tune. And if you think that head to head the Pac 10 could beat the SEC from top to bottom we’ll just have to disagree. But just know you are in a small and not very well-informed group if you think that.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Mike,

    I foresaw all of these arguments hence why I provided the link embedded into my article.

    I have lived in many southern cities.

    The passion passes those of Pac-10 fans, but the product on the field can not be measured up against those on the Pac-10.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Indeed, Tito. And for the record, the SEC lead over the the PAC-10 in NFL players is not as dramatic as my link might suggest at first glance, because the SEC has 2 more teams. The SEC has about 22 players per team playing in the NFL (more than any other conference) compared to the PAC-10′s 18. While significant, that is hardly dramatic. Somewhat surprisingly, the Big Ten is second with 21, with the ACC close behind at 20. One might argue that this suggests that PAC-10 coaching is superior to Big Ten coaching (i.e., they get more out of their talent), though that is probably taking unfair inferential liberties. The truth, I think, is that overall quality among conferences is probably pretty doggone close.

  • Kevin in Texas says:

    Sorry, Tito, but as a proud Gator, I have to side w/ Mike Petrik on this one! ;-)

    At least wrt football, there’s genuinely no comparison about pure talent among athletes or pure enthusiasm among supporters when comparing the SEC and the PAC-10. But then again living in Texas as I do, I’m unlikely to travel to the Left Coast and support any of those PAC-10 teams by buying a gameday ticket, either, so take my viewpoint only for the $.02 that it’s worth!

  • Todd says:

    Let me toss a bomb in here, possibly slightly off-topic.

    I think these conferences have to accept a national tournament. Eventually. Automatic bids for every conference champion, plus at-large slots to fill the field to 16.

    I would love to see all the bowls moved to August through Labor Day weekend. I know it kicks against the Rose Bowl tradition, but why not hold a second Rose Bowl each year as a semi-final? The first might always be last year’s Big-11/Pac-10 champs. Same for any other big bowl willing to take random playoff teams.

    Holding bowl games in August maximizes the possibility for a nice weather game anywhere–and you can always play a Fiesta Bowl at night, eh? And you could get good college cities like Boston hosting a nice game.

    I would suggest limiting any 12-school conference team to 10 games, plus one August bowl, plus a poetntial league championship, plus a potential four playoff games. Schools in leagues without that December playoff get eleven games. Schools that don’t qualify for an August bowl can opt for an 11th game.

  • c matt says:

    The Big 12 south has a three way rivalry – Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, respectively). It would be difficult to split the rivalry, although the UT-OU rivalry survived many years as non-conference. They would have to figure some way to keep that in place.

    August bowl games, are you kidding?!?! In 100+ weather – no thanks.

  • Nick says:

    You are all on crack. ;) The money is in the Big Ten. The Big Ten Network has changed the game. Also, the Big Ten is an academic conference mostly made up of large land grant research intitutions. Texas is a perfect fit. Can you imagine a football conference with historical heavyweights like Texas, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State? The mind boggles.

  • Todd says:

    “August bowl games, are you kidding?!?! In 100+ weather – no thanks.”

    Good to see one less in the ranks of climate change truthers.

    That said, what makes you think evenings are going to be 100 degrees-plus? August bowl games would spread out over the whole month, and most of those games, as they are now in December and January, will be played at night.

    College football in August would get the jump on baseball pennant races, the NFL, and the start of school. It would be almost like an exhibition game, only it would count when BCS emerges from a rock in October.

  • ben says:

    Well, I miss the Big 8, I liked playingthe same teams every year, and you could actually drive to a lot of the away games.

    I don’t want to be a part of the Pac 10.

    -CU alumnus

  • Kenneth says:

    Assuming the Big 12 South bolts (which is going to happen with Nebraska’s anouncement) I would like to see the remaining North teams make a bid to join the Mountain West. It could be pretty sweet. Mt West Conf – West division – Boise St, BYU, Utah, Air Force, Wyoming, UNLV, San Diego St, New Mexico. East Division – Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Mizzou (If they don’t bail to Big 10 given the chance), Baylor, TCU, Colorado St, Houston, UTEP, or somebody like that.

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