Pac-12 Announces North And South Divisions, Home Site Championship Game

The Pac-12 will split into North and South Divisions, and will play its championship game at the site of team with the best overall conference record.

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Oklahoma And A&M Invited To The SEC, But Opt To Stick With Texas and Big 12

How powerful is the University of Texas? So powerful it can convince its two biggest rivals not to leave for the premier league in college football. Oklahoma President David L. Boren revealed today that both OU and Texas A&M had formal invites to ditch the already reduced Big 12 for seemingly greener pastures in the SEC. This was apparently before the reworked conference contract that increased TV revenues for all the Big 12, and after Nebraska had already left for the Big 10. So what stopped them? “Because the SEC offer didn’t include Oklahoma State and Texas, he didn’t consider it a good option.”

ESPN money and SEC competition apparently are no match for the pull of Texas.

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Texas Legislators, Still Hustlin': Houston To The Big 12?

Texan politicians of various stripes are legendary for their ability to shape the landscape of college football. (The most notorious example of this is then-governor Ann Richards' lobbying for the inclusion of Baylor in the Big 12.) It should come as no real surprise, then, that a large-ish group of legislators isn't through turning the conference this way and that, and their desires are fixed on Houston:

State Reps. Garnet Coleman and Bill Callegari, both from the Houston area, co-wrote a letter Thursday asking Big 12 officials to consider adding the university to the conference.

"UH is the third largest university in Texas, and is on track to rank among the top research universities in this state," the letter says. "Despite UH's local and statewide prominence, the university does not belong to a strong BCS conference such as the Big 12. The Cougars, the city of Houston, and the state of Texas deserve better."

It's frankly not a bad idea. Houston's a sizable TV market (though likely already saturated thanks to the sprawling reach of the Texas alumni base), and their football team, ranked first in the nation in total, passing, and scoring offense in 2009, would do the popular conception of defense-free Big 12 football proud. The move would also be a step towards healing a semantic rift. Texans are a pragmatic people, and the thought of them continuing to field a 10-team conference named "12" just doesn't sit well. (Leave the imaginary numbers for those fancy lads up north.)

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Arkansas AD: 'No Interest In Joining Another Conference'

If Arkansas is, in fact, considering a move west to the Big 12, they're certainly doing a bang-up job of hiding their intentions. Athletic director Jeff Long's statement would seem to leave no wiggle room for speculation:

In recent weeks and months, there has been much national dialogue regarding conference affiliation in intercollegiate athletics. In the course of that dialogue, some have suggested that the University of Arkansas was an institution that may be pursued by other conferences. From the beginning, we have been very clear that the University of Arkansas is a proud member of the Southeastern Conference and has no interest in joining another conference. Chancellor [Dave] Gearhart has been unwavering in his support of our institution’s continued membership in the SEC. Recent events have not in any way altered our commitment or desire to remain a member of what we believe is the strongest conference in the nation.

For the uninitiated, these rumors show up with comfortable regularity 'round Fayetteville way this time of year,  are largely perpetrated by aged boosters and have yet to come to anything. But then again, this is no ordinary year, and extraordinary jumpiness is to be expected.

Join the discussion of all things Big 12 at SBN Kansas City.

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Arkansas Has 'Definitely Put Out Some Feelers' About Joining Big 12

On Wednesday, a report emerged that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would like to see Arkansas (and Notre Dame) join the Big 12 which would instantly make it one of the top conferences.

According to Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com (via Twitter), that report has some legs.

Sources tell OB Arkansas has definitely put out feelers about possibly joining the Big 12, but the B12 votes don't appear to be there yet.

Arkansas has a better chance of joining than Notre Dame but its unclear if Jones was implying the two are a package deal.

Arkansas, since joining the SEC, has seen its national profile drop. If it joined the Big 12, it would get back part of its Texas recruiting base as well as some relevance.

Jerry Jones is a powerful man and, most importantly, has lots of cash and influence to make something happen. This is a situation worth monitoring.

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Report: Pac 10 Expansion Collects Oklahoma State As Big 12 Exodus Continues

First thing’s first: This report is coming from TMZ.com. But, despite its reputation, the site’s sources are most often accurate. So, having said that, they are reporting that Oklahoma State will leave the Big 12 for the Pac 10, citing a source within the athletic department. The source says it’s “just a matter of time” before the announcement is made public.

Oklahoma State is one of the six Big 12 schools believed to be invited to join the Pac 10. The others being Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Colorado. The Buffaloes have already made it official that they are leaving to join the Pac 10.

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A Retro-Future To Like: The Pac-8 Returns (Sort Of)

Coug Center points out that with Pac-10 expansion, the old Pac-8 actually might return wholesale to college football as one division in the proposed megaconference:

Essentially, you’d have two eight-team conferences teaming up to benefit the whole. One would be reverting back to the Pac-8, while the other would combine the two least-tenured Pac-10 institutions with the most desirable Big 12 schools.

A retro-future, in other words, and one that Coug Center and other Pac-10 schools would likely be just fine with living in given the revenue possible in this proposal.

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Report: Pac-10 To Invite Six Teams From Big 12 To Join Conference

Expansion rumors regarding the Big Ten have been the food sustaining college football fans through the long offseason, but this is something new and exotic to put on the menu. According to Rivals.com's Texas site Orangebloods.com, the PAC-10 will make an offer to six teams from the Big 12. The goal here seems to be the formation of a super conference encompassing seven of the nation's top 20 television markets united under a single banner, and a Big Ten Network-style channel of its own. 

From their report: 

Because it appears the Pac-10, which has its meetings in San Francisco starting this weekend, is prepared to make a bold move and invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado to join its league, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

We'd offer a little more caution if this weren't Chip Brown, a reliable source and former beat reporter for Orangebloods.com sourcing the thing. What is uncertain is whether any of the teams would really consider this if the offer is forthcoming, or how it would work, or how college football at large would respond. What is certain is that if the Pac-10 is going to look at expansion, they brought the elephant gun for the hunting expedition. 

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