Pac-10 Expansion: Changing the Conference Name to Fit Possible Additions

Jason Figueiredo@sportschatterCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2010

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25:  WTA CEO Larry Scott (L) watches the Andy Murray of Great Britain and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia men's singles second round match on Centre Court on Day Four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

If you haven’t already heard, the Pac-10 is seriously thinking about adding a couple teams to the conference. Big whoop.

Personally, I think it is a terrible idea. The system is just fine the way it is right now. Why dilute the pool with two mediocre teams just to have a Pac-12 Conference Championship Game?

However, Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott (pictured) has already told the public several times this month that “they are keeping their options open” and expansion will happen “only if it increases conference revenue and exposure.”

The first-year commissioner also stressed the importance of keeping the conference’s overall academic prestige. 

But what does that even mean?

Take away the California universities, and what do you have...the University of Washington and a bunch of schools struggling to get into the US News & World Report Top 100.

So, in other words, the Pac-10 is only looking to hand out expansion offers to schools that have teams that are able to bring in some serious dollars. 

Either way, any additional teams would most likely lead to some sort of name change to the conference. While everyone has assumed the easy and clean Pacific-12, the increase of teams that are no longer really on the Pacific or in the Pacific Time Zone is almost as big of an anomaly as the Big Ten keeping its name despite adding another member.

Here are a couple suggestions on what to change the conference’s name to depending on the team(s) that joins.


"Do you think we need one more? You think we need one more? All right, we'll get one more." - Danny Ocean, Ocean's 11

Eleven was just the right number of members that George Clooney needed in order to create their legendary heist of three Las Vegas casinos, so maybe only one more member is all the Pac-10 really needs to create an amazing conference.

There are a handful of single teams that would be ideal for the Pac-10, but most of them probably would not make the leap without a conference partner.

Notre Dame and Boise State immediately come to mind when thinking about single teams that I would like to see play the Pac-10 more often. 

Notre Dame already plays several Pac-10 teams a year, so why not add the rest of them?  While this probably won’t happen, I think the Irish would add the most value to the Pac-10, and the conference would experience an immediate boost in academic and athletic prestige. NBC contracts and other minute details would most likely derail any serious bid for Notre Dame, though.

Boise State also peaks my interest as a lone addition.

Over the past six seasons, the Blue Turf Warriors have come out on top four times against Pac-10 teams. It would be interesting to see how Boise State would handle an entire season playing the Pac-10, but only under the condition that they don’t bring any of the other struggling teams from the WAC. 

The Broncos keep on improving, and their fanbase keeps on growing. They have had 10 or more wins in seven of the past eight seasons, and they definitely sound like a team that would add additional exposure and revenue.   

Why add two when one could be so much better?

But since the Pac-10 willl only expand if they can get a Conference Championship Game out of it, maybe add both of these teams and keep the Pac-11 name.  If the Big Ten can mislead people by stating a number in their conference name that is not true, lets see how it works for the Conference of Champions.  

South Pacific Conference

Texas and Texas Tech are uber long shots to come over to the Pac-10, but adding these two teams could be, as Barney Stinson might say, “Legen...wait for it...dary!”

If Larry Scott can pull this off, everyone on the West Coast would probably break out into a musical tune.

With these two schools calling the heart of Texas home, offering these teams membership into this conference would immensely open up the recruiting zones for all Pac-10 teams. These teams also pull in major dollars, and their followings are enormous. 

College football is huge in Texas, and 85 percent of the state roots for one of these two teams. 

Texas Tech doesn’t exactly fall into a Top University category (technically it's considered a Tier 3 school by US News & World Report ), but they wouldn’t be the only school that lands on this second level. 

The Longhorns rank 47th amongst the nation’s top colleges, and they fit the Pac-10’s “academic requirements” to a T. 

Also, the addition of UT adds immediate interest to every conference game that they will partake in. Imagine seeing USC, Cal, and Oregon all get their chance at a team that has been in the running for a national title practically every year.

They would boost the overall strength of the Pac-10, adding that something extra to a conference that doesn’t get the respect it truly deserves.   

Pacific Mountain Conference

The consensus around most circles is that if the Pac-10 is going to add any teams, it is going to be a two-team combination of Utah, BYU, or Colorado.

All three teams are relatively in the mountains and call the Mountain Time Zone home. Not too far to travel, but not close enough to bus it. 

While these teams are in fairly big markets, their overall value does very little to keep me interested. I am not exactly clamoring to see more of any of these schools. They are excellent programs and have decent academic ratings, but a Trojans-Buffs game doesn’t exactly send me rushing for the remote control. 

Although each of these teams had success in its heyday, I don’t think they add anything more to the conference, and the Pac-10 would be better off not expanding at all. 


If the Pac-10 adds a team from the WAC other than Boise State, this conference is definitely taking a downturn and would be, as the kids call it, “wack.”

Boise State alone or don’t let it happen at all.


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