Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-10, announced Sunday that he had obtained the permission of university chancellors and presidents to expand the conference any way he sees fit.
"What direction that process takes still could go in different directions, everything from remaining as we are as a Pac-10 that's got some very bright days ahead of it to a bigger conference footprint," Scott said. "I have the authority to take it in different directions, depending on various scenarios and discussions we're going to have."
"You've read about an awful lot of ideas. I'm not sure I've read every single one, but we probably have contemplated or are contemplating almost everything you've read about," Scott said. "The Pac-10's in a very fortunate position."
Scott did say that the deadline was the end of the year, but refused to give a time-frame for expansion talks or elaborate on specific schools.
There is still an awful lot of talk about the three main interest being Texas, Texas Tech, and Texas A&M.
It is unclear at this point which route A&M will take, but my gut tells me they will pursue "Other options" such as the SEC. Being that Texas controls the Big 12 however, they may be forced into the Pac-10.
Larry Scott's tone was that of a man on a mission. They will see this through one way or the other.
As for the time-frame I see two possible scenarios:
1. The Pac-10 has already contacted the six schools they want to bring on and are awaiting a response, which would make this a quick process.
2. They have no idea how things are going to play out and are fearful that not all of the schools they want will commit; making the process of expanding much slower and therefore needing the rest of the year to work out the details.
Regardless of when it takes place, the fact that it will has been confirmed by those involved.
This "out of the blue" action by the Pac-10 will likely prompt other conferences to look more seriously at their own expansion options. The SEC and Big-10 will be the next to make the move.
If this unfolds the way I think it will, by 2012 the world of college football will have four or five Super Conferences divided among the South, North, West, Midwest, and Northeast.
This one strategic move by the Pac-10 will change college football forever; but if they want to run with the big dogs, (Alabama, Florida, LSU), they're going to need a miracle, not a bigger conference.
Signing off and Roll Tide,