Don't mess with Texas. Or, at least, don't invite three out of four of the Big 12 teams that hail from the state and leave Baylor out in the cold, if the latest report from Chip Brown is true. According to Brown -- who first broke the Pac-10 expansion mega-story -- the Texas legislature is moving to demand that the Pac-10 take Baylor instead of Colorado should the Pac-10 indeed invite six Big 12 schools to join a new super-conference. Per Brown:
"If you're going to have an exported commodity involved in this, do you think we're going to allow a school from outside the state of Texas to replace one of our schools in the Big 12 South? I don't think so. We're already at work on this," said a high-ranking member of the Texas Legislature who asked not to be identified.
"If the Pac-10 wants Texas, and we know they do, they may have to take all of our Texas schools," the source said, adding that Texas Tech has also benefited from political inclusion on the invite list.
Colorado's struggles on the gridiron and the hardcourt the past few years certainly make passing on the Buffs much more palatable for the Pac-10, even if would mean missing out on the potentially lucrative Denver television market. And, of course, the real issue, as the Texas legislators amply realize, is that UT is the big prize here, and the Pac-10 isn't likely to let Colorado hold up landing the Longhorns.
The Pac-10 has reportedly considered four possible options during its weekend meetings, and has whittled its options down to just a pair. Among the quartet of moves the Pac-10 might make are 1) keeping the status quo, 2) A full-on merger with the Big 12, 3) Inviting six Big 12 teams to join a new 16-team conference, and 4) Inviting Colorado and Utah to join a 12-team conference that would then be eligible for a lucrative conference title game. Brown reports that the league has narrowed its options down to either going forward with just its current ten teams, or adding six more from the Big 12.
Given that, the Texas legislature's apparent resolve to make sure Baylor is included on the list of the six invited teams would leave Kansas, Kansas State, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa State and Missouri in a bind, perhaps leaving the Big Ten (and possibly the MWC?) to pick up the pieces of a broken Big 12.