Pac-12 Expansion: All Quiet On The Western Front

Since turning down the Oklahoma-Texas bloc, the Pac-12 looks ready to sit tight for a while. Check back here for the latest college conference realignment news.

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91 Total Updates since October 16, 2011
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  • Updates 69
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Pac-12 expansion holding steady

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott does not plan to expand the conference, but he did not rule anything out.

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Notre Dame To The Big 12 And Other Best/Worst Case Scenarios For Conference Realignment

While we wait for the late-summer conference realignment scramble, let's go ahead and prepare ourselves for the best and the worst.

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What's Your College Football Program Worth? Introducing Realignment Value Rankings

If we're going to follow conference realignment as if it's a sport, we might as well come up with a scoring system.

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Conference Realignment: Pac-12 Holds Steady, Leaving Nation In Limbo

Just when it seemed conference realignment news would dwarf the college football season it was butting up against, it's time to call the whole thing off -- for now. Well, at least the big stuff, as the Pac-12 won't be expanding during this go-round. You'll be shocked to learn the Texas Longhorns had a lot to do with it.

This means Texas, along with the Oklahoma Sooners and each of their jogging buddies, won't be leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-12 at this point. No Big 12-Big East merger. No Baylor lawsuits.

This doesn't mean Texas A&M will turn back from the SEC, nor does it mean the remaining Big 12 members are all cool with the Longhorn Network all of a sudden. The SEC also has the tricky issue of evening out its divisions, which are set to feature seven teams and six teams in 2012 (West Virginia and even Missouri could still be options, but count out Oklahoma, by the way).

The Big East may pick up a few schools to offset its impending losses to the ACC. The ACC might help itself to more Big East schools -- like, say, UConn, which still wants out. There are still rumblings, but they shouldn't be interpreted as aftershocks. They're still pre-tremors. In 2010, the college sports world moved a step closer to the football megaconference future, and in 2011 it did the same.

The Big 12 may be able to reform itself and become a major piece of that future, but hopefully we can wait to worry about it until next summer. All of a sudden the college football season is about to reclaim center stage, and for that we can thank the Pac-12.

For more, visit Pac-12 blog Pacific TakesOklahoma Sooners blog Crimson And Cream Machine and Texas Longhorns blog Burnt Orange Nation.

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The Pac-10 May Have To Rethink The Pod System

The expanded Pac-10 is reportedly going to create North and South divisions with a pod system for conference play, which is expected to look something like this:

Pod 1: NW schools.
Pod 2: CA schools.
Pod 3: AZ and MTN schools.

Each year, you'd play everyone in your pod and three of the four teams in each of the other pods. (For instance: The NW schools would play three of the four CA schools every year.)

However, Pac-10 officials may have run afoul of NCAA bylaws in creating this system, because in order to have a championship game, there must be a round-robin schedule between divisions:

17.9.5.2 Annual Exemptions. [FBS/FCS] The maximum number of football contests shall exclude the following: c) Twelve-Member Conference Championship Game. [FBS/FCS] A conference championship game between division champions of a member conference of 12 or more institutions that is divided into two divisions (of six or more institutions each), each of which conducts round-robin, regular-season competition among the members of that division;

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Report: Pac-10 Will Create A North And South Division For 2011 Season

With Colorado jumping ship early and making the Pac-10 the Pac-12 in 2011, the conference was quickly faced with the task of creating divisions. 

While the schools' athletic directors aren't planning to meet until Oct. 6-7, a time when they will discuss just how to split up the 12 teams, Chip Brown (of course) is already reporting that  the "Pac-10 North division will be Was, WSU, Ore, Ore St., CU and Utah. South will be Cali and Arizona schools." Or, this: 

North Division
Washington
Washington State
Oregon
Oregon State
Colorado 
Utah

South Division
Stanford
California
USC
UCLA
Arizona
Arizona State

While that certainly seems to be the easiest form of alignment, there are two other options still being discussed apparently. One is the "zipper concept," which would put natural rivals in opposite divisions. The other is the "pod" scheduling idea, which would still use two, six-team divisions, split on the north/south line, but would rotate the yearly matchups. 

Pod 1: NW schools.
Pod 2: CA schools.
Pod 3: AZ and MTN schools.

Each year, you'd play everyone in your pod and three of the four teams in each of the other pods. (For instance: The NW schools would play three of the four CA schools every year.)

Once the divisions are settled, the focus will then shift to planning a championship game, and picking a neutral site to play host. apparently the finalists are Phoenix (Glendale), Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego ... and Las Vegas.

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Colorado Breaks Piggy Bank, Bolts Big 12 Ahead Of Schedule

The University of Colorado, long rumored to be exploring the possibility of exiting the Big 12 a year ahead of schedule, will reportedly pay a hefty buyout to join the Pac-10 in 2011:

Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com (as if I need to tell you that at this point) is reporting that the Colorado Buffaloes WILL be leaving the Big 12 to join the Pac-10 after this season. Chip reports that the Buffaloes will be paying about $6.8 million of around $19 million of our revenues from the conference to leave.

At this rate, Dan Hawkins will never, ever be fired, because Colorado will never have the money, which will be even funnier once he has to play Pac-10 opponents on the regular.

Follow this story as it develops in this StoryStream and at SB Nation's Ralphie Report.

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Las Vegas Review Journal Confirms Utah To Pac-10

Utah to the Pac-10 looks to be closer to a done deal as the Las Vegas Review Journal is confirming the original report by Comcast that has Utah in the Pac-10:

Utah is on its way to the Pac-10, a Mountain West Conference source said Tuesday night. The source did not want to be named because an official announcement has not been made.

The denials by Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott are expected, but at this point the denials seem to be aimed at the timing of when when Utah receives their invite.  The Utes are all but officially in the Pac-10, because it is well known that the Pac-10 wants a title game and that Utah was their fallback choice after Texas. 

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments.

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Larry Scott Denies Report That Utah Is Heading To Pac-10

Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott is denying the report by Comcast that said earlier this evening that Utah is being introduced as the latest Pac-10 member tomorrow.  Salt Lake Tribune's Utah beat writer Lya Wodraska sent out this tweet with the Scott denial.

Screen_shot_2010-06-15_at_8

More info coming from University of Utah athletic office:

In addition, MWC officials I just spoke with said they have not received any notification from Utah that it is leaving and Utah associate athletic director Liz Abel said there was "nothing new to report."

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments.

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Report: Pac-10 Officially Invites Utah

Unconfirmed reports have an official invitation from the Pac-10 to Utah in the works, and unlike the last few conference expansions, this one appears to be heading for a speedy resolution:

The Pacific-10 Conference will extend an invitation to the University of Utah to become the league's 12th team, Comcast SportsNet has learned exclusively from sources close to the situation.

A press conference is expected to formalize the announcement on Wednesday.

Make sure to check in with SB Nation's Utah blog BlockU for further developments. 

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Allegedly New Divisions In Allegedly New Pac-10 Including Allegedly New Teams Being Reported

Colorado is barely a member of the Pac-10 and there is no 12th member just yet, but according to CBS4 Denver, the 12-team version of the conference is already set, along with its two-division breakdown.

Sources close to C.U. have told CBS4 Sports the Buffs are projected to be in a 6 team division in the new Pac-10. The Buffs will be joined by USC, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State and probably Utah, which is expected to receive an invitation to join the Pac-10.

The remaining teams in the conference that will make up the Pac-10 North are:

Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State

While that does make sense, remember that it’s still just an unconfirmed rumor based on another unconfirmed rumor. Don’t book those flights just yet. Keep an eye on The Ralphie Report for any updates as they happen.

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Coug Center: Larry Scott, Pac-10 Never Stood A Chance

It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for the Pac-10. Yesterday they seemed certain that they’d be welcoming the Texas And Oklahoma Contingent into their fold. A day later, they find out they might have just been a pawn in Texas’ bid for a sweeter deal from the Big 12. Washington State blog Coug Center isn’t too surprised that things ended the way they did. Like most areas in college sports, the few folks who have all the power don’t like giving any of it up.

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, a football playoff has made sense for about three decades, and look at how slowly that’s moved. People in power do not like to give up that power, and the potential Pac-16 represented a seismic shift in power. It’s far too simplistic to blame this on one school or one television network, because it’s really, really obvious that it took more than that to make this thing fall apart. So don’t do that.

Coug Center also ponders how much ESPN and Fox were a part of those shadowy central figures that helped broker the deal to keep Texas in the Big 12.

All of this means the TV deals ESPN and Fox just laid out become instantly outdated. That $2.25 billion paid to the SEC? Chump change. Everything would have to be renegotiated, including the SEC deal that was deemed historic just a short time ago.

If ESPN killed the deal, it was to protect their contracts with the SEC and ACC. If the Big 12 collapses, the SEC would have to counter, taking parts of the ACC and Big 12 to become a 16 team league.

If Fox killed the deal, it was to prevent a bidding war for the Pac-16. Fox will almost never outbid ESPN. They just don’t have the financial backing that Disney brings to the table with ESPN. However, Fox can bid both the surviving Big 12 and Pac-10(12?) deals in an effort to control the Western market in more bite-sized portions.

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Never Mind: Texas Won't Move, Killing Big 12 Realignment Nightmares

Texas is really, truly staying in the Big 12 … or the Big 10 … or whatever it is now. Put it this way: No Pac-16.

The announcement came on the university’s official website, which means it’s more solid than almost anything else that’s been reported on this so far.

The University of Texas at Austin’s athletics programs will continue competing in the Big 12 Conference, the university announced today.

Of course, logic would say they change the name of the conference, but the Big Ten’s been at 11 teams for years, so those are details. Meanwhile, Yahoo!‘s Dan Wetzel is tweeting that Texas A&M will follow suit, apparently spurning the SEC’s efforts to make the Aggies the 13th team in that league.

This could end the biggest upheavals in the conference realignment game, taking away the incentive for the Big Ten and / or the SEC to plunder the ACC or the Big East for more teams to either counter a Pac-16 or balance an A&M pickup. But the Mountain West could be in trouble, with the Pac-11 now looking for a 12th team and the Big 12 potentially considering new additions.

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Reports Say Colorado Has Received Pac-10 Invitation, And They Will Accept

Now, it really starts to get interesting.

After Wednesday's report that Nebraska was headed to the Big Ten, the Pac-10 had to move quickly, and indeed they did, supposedly making plans to invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado.

Now, sources are saying Colorado already has their invitation, and they will accept it, opting out of the Big 12.

While it would take anywhere from a week to10 days to work out all the details of a newly formed Pac-16, one thing is for certain, best summed up by ESPN's Pat Forde:

We appear headed for one of the most interesting and hectic days in college sports history tomorrow. Stay tuned.less than a minute ago via web

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Pac-10 Expansion Getting Real: Chip Brown Reports Demise Of Big 12

No, for real this time. Rivals' Chip Brown, who has been out in front of every bit of breaking Pac-10 expansion news thus far, appears to have stamped a time of death for the Big 12:

Screen_shot_2010-06-09_at_6
Brown appeared on SportsCenter Wednesday evening to report that the original six schools specified in the expansion rumors (that's be Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado) are indeed the institutions lighting out for the territories. Stay tuned as we all (the schools themselves included) try and figure out what on earth this does to shredded remains of the Big 12 ... not to mention the Big Ten.

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A Whole Bunch Of Nothing, Colorado Only Discusses Expansion Options

So much for the major announcement that Colorado was heading to the Pac-10.  Instead the meeting was a get together with a bunch of lawyers to discuss expansion options.  Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera sent out a tweet saying that Colorado does not have an invitation from any other conference.

                            Screen_shot_2010-06-08_at_7 

This expansion talk is starting to like a very high stake game of chicken where a team is afraid to make the wrong move.  


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Colorado Holding Meeting With Board Of Regents Tonight To Discuss Move To Pac-10

The expansion machine has been working overtime lately, but it looks like there definitely will be may actually be some tangible evidence tomorrow with Colorado expecting to make a major announcement tomorrow:

If the speculation is true, Colorado could be preparing to accept a bid from the Pac-10 Conference, which has targeted the Buffaloes for expansion.

The move would undercut an attempt by Baylor to sway the Texas Legislature into helping the Bears get an invite ahead of Colorado.

It would also guarantee that the Pac-10 probably pulls off at least one of its plans presented to league presidents and chancellors at meetings over the weekend in San Francisco.

This move looks to block out Baylor who has been gathering support from the Texas legislature to put pressure on Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech to bring along baby brother Baylor to a new Pac-10 league.  Now, if this actually comes true then the Pac-10 has two options regarding expansion which are either still inviting Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State which is the Pac-10's first choice in expansion, and then the other would to add Utah to round out a new form Pac-10.

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Colorado AD Concedes Pac-10 Expansion Rumors May Not Be Complete Bunk

The report of a possible six-team expansion in the works for the Pac-10 was met with at least a modicum of skepticism this afternoon, which makes sense after months of Big 10 will-they-won't-they back and forth expansion gossip. But this version of events appears to come wrapped around at least a grain of truth, as Colorado AD Mike Bohn confirms ... not that Colorado and five other Big 12 schools are getting invitations, exactly, but that there's at least some there there:

Bohn said CU has not had any contact with the Pac-10 or its representatives and he was not clear on how he came to believe invitations could be forthcoming. But he said Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech could receive invitations possibly as soon as this weekend when Pac-10 officials meet in San Francisco.

"The longer that we were together in Kansas City it appeared that that rumor or speculation did have some validity to it," Bohn said in an interview with the Camera as he left the Big 12 spring meetings here today.

But be not afraid, tradition-bound Buffs faithful -- if this all does fall apart, Bohn's already adeptly covering his tracks with fine-grained doublespeak:

Bohn said at this point Colorado remains a committed and proud member of the Big 12 and he believes the conference has a bright future if its members remain together.

Half of the Big 12 is a hot commodity, so it's fair to say their representatives have earned a little preening. (And if you think Bohn sounds like the belle of the ball now, just wait until you get a load of his headshot. Like a curvy lady in a turn of the century Coca-Cola ad.)

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