The Skinny on the Pac-10 Expansion Candidates
Earlier in the week we learned that the Pac-10 might consider expansion as part of their quest to start a TV network or get a better deal. A report out of Salt Lake city says that Utah will be invited to the Pac-10 sooner than later.
This might happen.
I’ve read and gotten my own tips about how there could be a Colorado & Utah to the Pac-10 scenario.
And that could happen.
But that means that the best option turned down the Pac-10: Texas. Only IF (ok, WHEN) Texas is out of the picture do you need to look at other candidates.
You see, Pac-10 expansion is actually a very simple process compared to the Big Ten or other conferences. The reality is that there are only a few options:
Texas is the only homerun candidate. Granted, they did not join when originally approached in the 1990s (lack of interest by Texas and wasn’t a lock to get all 10 “yes” votes by the Pac-10 schools). And chances are they’d reject an offer. But a new TV network would give Texas a huge payout and include every Texas TV market along with those in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
If Texas says “yes, but only if Texas A&M; joins too”, then offer them the #12 spot. Texas and ANYBODY is a better combination than Utah and Colorado.
Another school that rejected the Pac-10 in the 90′s. Perhaps this time they’d bite. Then again, the Big 12 has sent more BCS at-large teams than the Pac-10. But a new network would give each team more money than a 2nd BCS bid would.
The easy choice. Offers the Utah market in Salt Lake City. As a Mountain West member, they’d jump in a second.
That’s it for realistic candidates.
You can cross-out Cal State schools like Fresno and San Diego St, as well as Boise St. Those schools just don’t fit the mold of what the Pac-10 will be looking for in academics. The rest of the WAC is out of the pool as well.
And while some writers might mention BYU as a candidate, it’s highly unlikely that they’d get the 10 necessary votes. And their ex-AD thinks BYU is out as well.
So really you have 4 options:
1) Texas & Colorado: if they both accepted, it’s a perfect world
2) Texas & Texas A&M;: If Texas gives an ultimatum and forces the Pac-10 to invite Texas A&M;, do it.
3) Colorado & Utah: it makes the most sense and seems within reach. If Colorado accepts, you add Denver and Salt Lake City.
4) No expansion: if Colorado declines and the only option is Utah, then stay at 10. Utah would make a fine #11 but there would be no quality #12 candidate left to select.
The hopeful and most likely option…Colorado and Utah as the #11 and #12 Pac-10 schools.