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Texas Turns Down Pac-10 Invitation for Big 12: What Will Pac-10 Do Now?

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Wide receiver Jordan Shipley #8 of the Texas Longhorns looks on after a catch against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Citi BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Ben GibsonSenior Analyst IJune 14, 2010

Oh what a difference a day makes.

The Texas Longhorns appeared to be putting the final nail in the coffin of the Big XII conference.  Now, thanks to a lucrative TV deal, Texas has brought new life to the Midwest by saving the conference and perhaps destroying the superpower conference world we all envisioned just a few days ago.

Their decision today swayed Oklahoma and Texas A&M, and has put a huge monkey wrench in the expansion plans of the Pac-10...or...11.

While this move certainly destroys the master plan of the Pac-10 officials, expansion plans are not over.  At 11 teams, the boys from the West still need a 12th team to get the championship game that generates big time revenue.

Come hell or high water, they're going to find a new dance partner.

Utah should be the favorite at this point.  They have a good football program, they fit in geographically, and they fit the profile of the other schools far more than BYU or TCU.

Even if the Mountain West is coming precariously close to a BCS league, Utah would have to be interested in the major revenue that such a jump would give them.

The biggest loser today may not be the Pac-10, but Boise State. 

The Broncos are probably kicking itself, accepting a bid to join the Mountain West in 2011 when they might have gotten their call to a BCS conference. 

Could they renig on their offer and try and court the Pac-10?  Possibly, but I doubt it.

All of this is still conjecture, but one thing remains certain. Expansion may be tempered, but it's not dead.

The Pac-10 wanted 16 teams from that start and although they may settle for 12, it may be premature to think they won't stop searching their dream number.

So if the Pac-16 has any hope, where can they look?

What can they do?

Are they really going to dip into teams like Hawaii or Fresno State?

Are they going to abandon the geographic map all together and go much farther east?

The Big XII may be alive once more, but that doesn't mean the Pac-16 is dead.  If we've learned anything during this process, it is that money can influence many decisions.

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