Arizona Schools at Disadvantage in Superconference Pac-16

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IJune 8, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 28:  Head coach Mike Stoops of the Arizona Wildcats greets head coach Dennis Erickson of the Arizona State Sun Devils following the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 20-17.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The expansion rumors of the Pac-16—or whatever they are going to call themselves—are great for the conference.

Unless you are a fan of Arizona or Arizona State.

The way the conference would be split up would have Arizona and Arizona State play the new additions while the other eight teams play each other.

Essentially, nothing changes for anyone in the Pac-10 except Arizona and Arizona State. They will get to play superpowers Texas and Oklahoma every year, along with Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Baylor/Colorado.

The first example of this would be the last time Arizona schools played Big-12 teams. Both Arizona schools got crushed in their last bowl appearances, both of which were in the Holiday Bowl against Big-12 teams (Arizona played Nebraska, and Arizona State played Texas). They were outplayed and not prepared for the physical style of play the Big-12 teams brought to the field.

Now they would have to deal with playing not just one of these teams every year, but six. This could ultimately crush these current teams and hurt the future of the programs.

Recruiting would change drastically for these teams. They would now not only be competing against USC, Cal, and Oregon, but would also be going against Texas and Oklahoma for players. This is a huge disadvantage for the Arizona schools.

Arizona is not a hotbed for talent like California and Texas are (it has improved in recent years but is still nowhere close). They don't have an automatic in at a school in another state like Texas and USC, because they are not the hometown school.

They have had to create their own inroads, and the addition of the superconference teams would do nothing but hurt their chances. It also eliminates the Cats' and Devils' opportunity to guarantee recruits from California a chance to play near where they grew up.

This is especially upsetting for Arizona, who lived in the Pac-10 cellar for a decade. Just when their team finally looks as though it may have turned a corner and in the next few years could appear in its first Rose Bowl, this happens.

Wildcat fans suffered through some of the worst years in their history, and Arizona State is in the midst of their first back-to-back losing seasons in over a decade.

Mike Stoops has even been heard as saying that he is all for the superconference, with one stipulation.

"As long as I don't have to play Oklahoma and Texas every year, I'll be all right,” the Arizona football coach said.

Having been a coordinator for Oklahoma, he knows what a steep road it would be for the Arizona teams to have to play two of the top five teams year in and year out.

Sure, getting to see Texas and Oklahoma every year would put butts in the seats, and the road trips to those places would be fantastic, but wouldn't the constant beating get old?

Here is the upside for the Arizona schools—the rumored $20 million each school in the superconference would get in the new TV contract (hopefully not with Fox Sports).

So here is the big question for Arizona universities—is it worth it to get paid and lose, or not have as much and have a chance to compete for a conference championship?