Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Pac-16???

It didn't take long for the speculation to begin -- would the recently expanded Pac-12 seek to become the first so-called "super conference" and increase its membership to 16 schools?

ESPN reports that there has been conversation involving four new schools joining the conference. They are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech. CBS Sports suggests (correctly) that the expansion makes sense on a variety of fronts.

Just yesterday, Oklahoma's president, David Boren, said that he thought it would take no more than a couple weeks to determine that school's future affiliation.

While athletic directors -- most prominently the University of Missouri's -- from some current Big 12 programs have said they're working to keep the conference membership together, ominous signs of the conference's demise are everywhere.

Texas A&M already has announced it's gone and conversations about bringing in schools such as Pitt from the current Big East  appear based more in wishful thinking than real potential.

Expanding the Pac-12 is consistent with its commissioner's vision of making the the conference one of the elite. He came close to roping in Texas and Oklahoma a few months ago and he's interested in trying again.

The Big 12 will be reduced to nine teams once Texas A&M officially leaves. Of course, Texas and Oklahoma could be joined by Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in saying "bye y'all" to the Big 12 at the same time. Left in the rubble would be Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri.

Meanwhile the Pac-16 would be made up of two divisions. Here's a possible scenario:
NORTH
California
Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
Washington
Washington State
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State

SOUTH
Arizona
Arizona State
Colorado
UCLA
USC
Utah
Texas
Texas Tech

A second option is to go with the original Pac-8 schools as one division with the remaining schools filling the other division. If that's the case, then the Pac-16 would look like this (with suggested division names as West and Southwest):

WEST
California
Oregon
Oregon State
Stanford
UCLA
USC
Washington
Washington State

SOUTHWEST
Arizona
Arizona State
Colorado
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Texas
Texas Tech
Utah

The arguments about which alignment is better can be held later. For now, let's think about the ramifications of the Pac-12 transforming itself into the first super conference.

2 comments:

Pac-12 Guy said...

Good stuff :) Not sure what i think about oklahoma being "North" while Colorado and Utah are "South"

Anonymous said...

I would not mind seeing the PAC-12 invite Texas, Oklahoma, TCU & Boise State