I am disappointed the Pac-16 superconference won't work out. It would have been very exciting watching them work out the scheduling, BCS bids, and all that good stuff. However, there is a silver lining, as the Pac still looks to expand to 12 teams.
There are tons of reasons why this benefits the Pac. Anybody who thinks Utah moving would be bad for the Pac is off their rocker.
However... how does it benefit Utah?
There are two main ways.
The Mountain West is one of the "little kid" conferences in the NCAA. It's the youngest conference today, it isn't a BCS conference, and doesn't have strong teams. The list goes on.
In the Pac, Utah will have much greater prestige. First off, the Pac is known for great academics, hosting schools like Cal, Stanford, Oregon, and UCLA, among others. Utah fits nicely in that list. They also will be more respected as being part of a BCS conference.
No matter what people say, Boise State isn't as good as BCS teams. Yes, they beat Oregon, and then TCU, who also isn't a BCS team.
Big freaking deal.
Point is, the Mountain West and WAC aren't as respectable as BCS conferences.
But if Utah joins the Pac, they get more respect for playing BCS teams on a regular basis. And as such, they get better chances of making a BCS championship game, and other BCS bowl games.
With 12 teams, it's almost assured the Pac gets their own TV network. Should that happen, it's more money for everyone—which includes Utah.
In fact, according to several sources, Utah will be able to increase TV profits tenfold. That's a lot of money.
If that ain't motivation, I don't know what is.
All in all, looking at the big picture, there's absolutely no reason for Utah not to join. It's good for the Pac, and it's good for Utah.
Make sure to check back on Thursday/Friday to see what Utah decides. The press conference is at 12pm PST, then expect the Pac to officially declare them a member either Thursday afternoon or sometime on Friday.