How the Pac-10 Can Play Hardball with the Texas Legislature

Schmolik@@Schmolik64Correspondent IIJune 7, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 01:  Head coach Lane Kiffin looks on during the  USC Trojans spring game on  May 1, 2010 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Hello, college football fans!

This is kind of a follow-up to a previous Bleacher Report story from Reid Brooks .

Apparently, the Texas legislature wants to force Baylor down the Pac-10's throats instead of Colorado , who I assume the Pac-10 would rather have.

The deal the Texas legislature wants would be the current six Big 12 South schools. I'm sure the Pac-10 would rather have schools covering different states and schools closer to the Pacific Ocean.

Why have to travel to up to six schools in the Central Time Zone when you can travel to, say four schools in the Southwest and Colorado and Utah from the Mountain Time Zone?

And would you rather own two extra states or four?

I can't speak for the Pac-10, but my guess is the preferred Pac-10 expansion would be Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Colorado, and Utah.

Of the six schools, all but Oklahoma State are top tier schools according to US News & World Report and Texas, Texas A&M, and Colorado are all AAU schools .

Oklahoma State is a Tier 3 school but maybe the Pac-10 grants an exception to get the other schools.

But Texas Tech is also a Tier 3 school and I can't imagine the Pac-10 will want to grant two exceptions.ย 

Baylor is considered a top tier but is not an AAU school, and honestly brings little that Texas and Texas A&M don't bring already.

I'm almost positive that if the Pac-10 had a choice between Baylor and Colorado, they would choose Colorado.

Apparently, politicians have gotten in the way before in favor of Texas Tech and Baylor at the expense of four other former SWC rivals.

The rumor is the biggest reason that Baylor even got in the Big 12 is that then Texas governor Ann Richards was a Baylor graduate (and the lieutenant governor was from Texas Tech) .

Ironically, if the Pac-10 decides to go with the six schools with Baylor instead of Colorado, there would be more of an incentive for Texas & Company to...turn down the deal.

Supposedly, the Big 12 was in danger of losing three schools. Well, if Colorado is denied a Pac-10 bid, they would be forced to stay in the Big 12 (or join the MWC and risk being out of BCS contention).

Now if the Big 12 loses Colorado in addition to rumored Missouri and Nebraska, the Big 12 might be hurt bad.

But what if Colorado stays?

They have a 10 team league and still have Colorado and the Denver market in their footprint. Then Texas and Company would have more incentive to just stay in the Big 12.

Not to mention, they can easily add Utah and BYU (adding the state of Utah to their footprint) and Utah and BYU might be enough to offset the loss of Nebraska and Missouri in the next TV contract.

Since the Pac-10 is likely to not want BYU, Utah would probably rather choose the Big 12 with BYU (and Colorado) than the Pac-10 without any neighboring schools.

So, here's my advice to the Pac-10. Stand your ground. Take the teams you want, don't let the Texas legislature decide who you want. And honestly, it's simple:

1. Take the Pac-12 plan of inviting Colorado and Utah only (and put deals in so that neither school cannot cast votes to deny future expansion candidates like the current 10 can).

2. Go to Texas and offer one of two plans: A) Texas/Texas A&M/Oklahoma/Oklahoma State or B) Texas/Texas A&M/Texas Tech/Baylor.

Keep in mind that Colorado is now out of the Big 12, so the Big 12 only has nine members and that Utah is now out of Big 12 consideration for replacement.

The Texas legislature would either be forced to bend on Texas Tech and Baylor when it comes to the Pac-10 (or SEC) or risk Texas and Texas A&M (and pretty much every college in the state of Texas) being shut out of the BCS entirely. The move clearly gives the Pac-10 more power and the Texas legislature less.

An alternate plan would be to take all four Texas schools. It would seem to be better for the Texas legislature, but maybe there are some Oklahoma or Ok State grads in the Texas legislature that would hate to see the Oklahoma schools screwed (not to mention T. Boone Pickens) and try to block that as well.

And should Texas and A&M leave Oklahoma behind?

I'd love to see the relations between Texas and Oklahoma then. What would happen to the Red River Shootout?

So, it's pretty clear that the Pac-10 can play the politics game to help them get what they want and I hope they do.

I mean, it's one thing for the Big East to favor Temple over Rutgers , but for lesser schools to get preferential treatment because of personal connections makes me sick.

It's like if you got turned down for a job for a lesser candidate that has connections.

I mean, don't you people have bigger problems in Texas than what conference the third best state school in your state (and technically, Texas Tech is the sixth biggest state school in Texas, not third ) is in?

If that is the biggest problem in your state and you don't have to worry about your budget, jobs, health care, education, etc, then I'd love to move to Texas.

Sure, I'd like to see Pitt join the Big 10 and Temple to join some conference better than the A-10, but I think there are a lot of bigger problems for Gov. Rendell to worry about than what conference Pitt and Temple are in.

And if you want to look out for the schools in your state, don't play favorites.

There were eight former SWC schools. The University of Houston has more students than Texas Tech and let's see, I'll take Houston over Lubbock any day of the week.

If you are adamant that Texas Tech doesn't get screwed but don't care about Houston getting screwed, that's playing favorites.

And I can understand there is a responsibility for the state of Texas to make sure its state schools get taken care of. But not private schools. And as for Baylor vs. TCU and SMU, two schools are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and one is in Waco.

Again, playing favorites.

I want the best schools to get the best conferences, not who gets based on by "who you know".

Let the conferences decide what schools they want.

I hope the Pac-10 holds their ground and the Texas legislature is forced to let Texas and Texas A&M do what's best for them and not what's best for two rinky dink schools in Lubbock and Waco.

Maybe the Texas legislature will force Texas and A&M to stay in the sinking Big 12 instead of going to the SEC or Pac-10.

And then after the BCS takes away the Big 12's BCS bid, then the Texas legislature can help Orin Hatch fight the BCS and make things better for the rest of the state and not selective schools.

And final thoughtโ€”what is the SEC waiting for?

Why not make a counter offer to Texas/Texas A&M/Oklahoma/Oklahoma State?

If both the Pac-10 and SEC offer the same deal, I have the feeling the Texas four will choose the SEC over the Pac-10 (assuming the Texas legislature doesn't butt in).

Do you really want the Pac-10 to get the Texas and Oklahoma schools and you're either stuck at 12 or with adding schools that either don't expand your geographical format or expand to non-outlying states with no potential rivalries to any current members (ex. Virginia schools).

I am assuming UNC/Duke/NC State will not leave the ACC.