Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Pac-10 conference is doing the right thing

As an alum of one current Pac-10 Conference school and as someone who has followed the athletic teams in that league, I think the reports beginning to circulate that the conference is considering jumping to 16 teams is a great move.

The Orlando Sentinel, citing a respected blogger in Texas, reports that Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado could be invited to join the conference, and that invitation could come as early as this weekend.

Those six are currently part of the Big-12 conference, and there have been persistent rumors over the past month that at least two other Big-12 schools could be on the move. The Big-10 conference is apparently interested in adding Nebraska and Missouri. (There are embedded links in the story highlighted above that provide important details about this.)

For their part, at least three of the athletic directors at perhaps-poached-by-the-Pac-10 schools say (gee, here's a shock) they know nothing about a possible invitation. Moreover, the move West would keep the Lone Star State's biggest programs -- Texas and Texas A&M -- together.

Why this apparent rush to swell the ranks of two of college athletics' major conferences. Simple...money (what else did you think?). The need for college football's power conferences to cobble together a playoff game and to gain better "names" to increase viability for top-tier bowl games is driving the conversation.

Tradition is ruined! you cry. Yes, but that train has long since left the station. If you weren't on it, forget about it ever coming back.

As mentioned, I think this is a great move. Consider this possible conference alignment:

PACIFIC DIVISION:
Arizona
Arizona State
Colorado
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech

COAST DIVISION:
California
Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
UCLA
USC
Washington
Washington State

In football, a school annually would play each team in its division plus two teams from the other division. And, yes, the Pacific and Coast division winners play for the Pac-16's automatic trip to the Rose Bowl where it will play the winner of the Big-14 (or Big-16, depending upon what the current Big-10 does with its expansion).

Call me a fan.

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