Although it has not been confirmed, there are reports that the Pac-10 has, or is, prepared to officially invite the following teams to join their ranks:
Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado.
To add to the speculation, Mizzou officials said today that they cannot commit to staying with the Big-12.
The schools left out would be Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Missouri.
Early reports are that these teams will join Arizona and Arizona State, to create an eight team division.
The other eight will be Oregon, Oregon State, USC, California, Stanford, Washington, Washington State and UCLA.
What could possibly have triggered this?
The Pac-10, Big Ten and Big 12 have all fallen short of being able to keep up with the SEC's ratings and colossal television contracts in recent years.
A merger between the six Big 12 schools and the Pac-10 would build a conference with seven of the country's top TV markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento).
With this market alone, the demand for local cable companies to air the games would be overwhelming, and could even create a new network specifically for the new Super Conference.
It is projected that the television revenues would double the current payout of almost $9 million to Big 12 and Pac-10 members.
If that happens, they will easily surpass the SEC's projected payouts of $17 million per school.
One university however, is resisting the merger.
A source close to the deal has said that Texas A&M has had serious conversations with the SEC about becoming part of that conference.
In Thursday's edition of the Houston Chronicle, A&M athletic director Bill Byrne was asked if the SEC is an option for the Aggies should the Big 12 break up, and he said, "It might be. You know what? It might be."
If Texas A&M makes the move eastward, others will likely follow.
The expansion can and probably will happen with or without Texas A&M.
If this happens the possibility of other Super Conferences forming will greatly increase; and if the Pac-10 makes good on all of the speculation, and issues invitations to the six schools this weekend, we could see major changes in other conferences before kickoff of the 2010 season.
It would be great to see the SEC to expand to 14 or 16 teams and possibly include universities such as Texas A&M; but that does not bode well for others considering the Southeastern Conference is currently the strongest conference in Division-l football, based on National Championships from 2000-2010.
Signing off and Roll Tide,
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