College Realignment: Let The Rollercoaster Do Its Thing

Josh Bennett@mrbennett3Contributor IJune 10, 2010

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes works the sidelines in the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 31-24. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

He says this, they say that, we think this, you think that--it's a never-ending rollercoaster ride of denials and admittances. Yes, I'm talking about all the discussion of conference expansion and its constant change of direction. Through all the ups and downs of the idea of a shifting college football landscape, people are left confused as to what they can believe anymore. 

Where will Utah find itself when the dust of college football expansion settles? Man, I wish I could tell you.

For Ute fans who follow conference expansion religiously there has been moments of celebration for Utah joining the PAC-10, but there has also been those moments where everyone reaches for the panic button in fear of being shut out of the conference realignment.

At one point in time, Utah to the PAC-10 was imminent--it was a done deal with no questions asked. It was only a matter of time before the Utah Utes would find themselves among the elite conferences in college football. But now, nearly everyone finds themselves checking Twitter, message boards, Google-searching expansion news, and talking to any "inside" source they may have to get the low-down on what is about to change college football as we know it. 

In wake of the rumors of the PAC-10 reaching out to six Big 12 schools to bring the NCAA a new PAC-16, Utah fans find themselves on either the pessimistic or optimistic sides of the fence. 

If the PAC-10 were to offer six invites to schools from the Big 12, assuming each school accepts, Utah will face a similar situation of being left out of the big picture.

When it comes down to it, like almost everything in this world, it's all about money. If the PAC-10 could bring in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech, we would be looking at our first super-conference in the PAC-16. However, if all holds true in the "everything is about money" argument, Utah just might be on the outside looking in.

However, I find it hard to believe that current PAC-10 teams are going to accept the idea of Texas joining the conference and calling every shot by barking orders. If the PAC-10 is bringing in three Texas schools--possibly four if Baylor gets the nod rather than Colorado--the PAC-10 would be insane. Utah brings a decent TV market into the picture, not to forget its higher level of academics and athletic competition than some of the supposedly invited schools mentioned above.

At this point, it seems everyone has a source that says one thing or another, but nothing has yet been confirmed. Chip Brown, with and the most followed reporter on expansion talk as of lately, seems to have the answers and inside information on everything expansion related, but as soon as he releases information it is almost instantly denied. Brown could be telling the truth, he could be receiving false information, he could be given information from Texas officials that is Texas' view, or everything he is saying could be true--we won't know the answer until all is said and done. 

An inside source could give Brown information, knowing he will relay the ideas to thousands of readers, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has one-hundred percent truth to it. Granted, most of the things he says is backed up by other reports, but how often is a report Brown gives denied and claimed as incorrect? Almost every time. 

The bottom line is that the next few days will bring answers or at least clear the picture just a little more--satisfying some, but disappointing others.

Hang on for the rollercoaster and please keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times--the last thing we need is more confusion.

With all that has gone on in the past few days, it seems anything can happen and no one can be trusted except the people making the decisions themselves. Until an official announcement is made, the rollercoaster ride will continue.