And so it begins: the Pac-10 is reportedly set to formally extend invitations later this week to six Big 12 schools to join a new mega-conference, according to Chip Blood of Orangebloods.com.
At this point, the identities of five of the six invitees are known for sure: Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. But it seems that the Texas legislature's brazen efforts to strong-arm Baylor into a possible Pac-16 (?) in place of Colorado may be working. Indeed, per Brown, the Pac-10 is still undecided between Colorado and Baylor, with no indication about which way the Pac-10 and commissioner Larry Scott are currently leaning.
Meanwhile, it wouldn't be surprising if Nebraska and Missouri's deadline for deciding whether they want to remain in the Big 12 gets moved up, given how quickly the Pac-10 has pounced on the other half of the league. Texas is rumored to want to keep the Big 12 together in its current form (or at least with Nebraska, if not Missouri) because the Longhorns have designs on their own television network that they wouldn't have to share with anyone else; if they accepted an invitation from the Pac-10, they would have to split revenues in the league's proposed television network.
The Great Realignment Battle of 2010 has begun.