Report of Pac-10's Possible Raid on Big 12 Seems Sensible Yet Bogus

Ryan FallerAnalyst IJune 3, 2010

When you have some time, grab the nearest salt shaker, extract a grain, and read this latest story regarding conference expansion in college football.

Citing "multiple sources close to the situation," Chip Brown from OrangeBloods.com , Texas' Rivals.com affiliate, reported Thursday afternoon that the Pac-10 is "prepared" to extend invitations to six member institutions of the Big 12.

(You may need a Rivals.com subscription to read the story.)

According to the report, the Pac-10 is interested in adding Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Colorado.

Excluded would be Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska, and Missouri — the latter two of which have been considered to be prime candidates for a move to the Big Ten should the conference decide to expand.

The report also states that along with current Pac-10 members Arizona and Arizona State, the six Big 12 teams would form one division, while the remaining Pac-10 teams (USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State) would form a second eight-member division to instantly create a conference championship game.

Given the fact that both conferences are currently holding meetings this week—the Big 12 in Kansas City and the Pac-10 in San Antonio—the timing of this report seems absolutely perfect, even if it does contradict somewhat the discussions held between the two conferences last month regarding a television partnership .

Or maybe this is what they had in mind all along, rather than to keep both conferences intact. Whatever it would be called, as the report points out, the new superconference would lay claim to seven of the nation's top 20 television markets and virtually put a stranglehold on tons of sets west of the Mississippi.

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And it would be foolish to not acknowledge the now-eerie comments of University of California Chancellor Robert Birgeneau . Referring to the June 6 meeting between Pac-10 chancellors and presidents and Commissioner Larry Scott (pictured), Birgeneau said at an alumni event earlier this week that he'd "surprised if something did not happen that revolutionized college athletics."

With that being said, at this point, no other outlet seems to have much knowledge of this latest development, which seems odd. From what I've seen, other sites are perfectly happy with citing Brown , linking to his report , or producing some guarded combination of the two—not reporting on it themselves.

And whether they're absolutely clueless or playing coy, Big 12 movers and shakers, at least those who have been exposed to the claims thus far, don't seem too interested in addressing them.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , upon hearing the rumor, one Big 12 official shook his head and said, "Here it goes again." Another, an official from Texas, made a similar response, the paper said.

Big 12 presidents and chancellors are meeting today in Kansas City, with a private session expected to be held on Friday. Commissioner Dan Beebe and Texas President Bill Powers are scheduled to address the media at 5 p.m. CT.

I wonder what the topic of conversation will be.

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