Utah and BYU make the most practical sense here, but Dawgand Duck is right on...they (actually BYU) are not "politically tenable" to the Pac-10. They bring athletics/academics and a logistical fit that is the most amenable, but BYU will not be accepted by the greater group of the Pac-10.
Yaaayyy!!! Someone actually agrees with me!!! ;D
Colorado has the best political fit with academics and athletics but they need a partner. Not certain if that is Colorado State or not. They would have to be lured from the Big 12 which is problematic.
The e-mail that suggests the perfect geographical fit of SDState and UNLV (AztecJeff) shows a lack of understanding of longstanding rivalries of the Pac-10! Sorry Aztec, but any split of the pac10 MUST have a southern division of ASU/UA, USC/UCLA, CAL/Stanfurd.
A number of years back a former AD of USC came in and dropped CAL off of USC's football schedule to pick up a national game with Oklahoma. USC alumni went nuts. The alumni of all the California schools look forward to a trip north or south every year.
So, UCLA/CAL/Stanfurd/USC always play each other in football. A split that seperates these schools results in a schedule much like what you see in the SEC where some schools play once every 5-10 years so you can keep traditional rivals playing every year.
Hmm, this sounds vaguely familiar to a problem the ACC is facing right now with breaking up the North Carolina schools in expansion. Plus, there is a huge rivalry in every sport (college or pro) between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Why that is I have no idea. The two areas have a lot more in common than they realize, with two key differences:
1. LA is the second largest city in the US (SF has always been jealous of LA because of this fact)
2. LA is in the news more than SF (see Hollywood).
Maybe that's why there's a rivalry? ???
Southern Californians will try to tell you that they're more conservative than northern Californians, but that's just a bunch of baloney, unless you're comparing San Diego to LA & the Bay Area. SD is very conservative in comparison to the rest of California.
Thus any expanded institution into the Pac-10 has to play in the Northern Division with UO/OSU/Wash/Wazzou. That's if you want a balanced football schedule. Your candidates are limited and look like they come out of Utah or Colorado.
Because of this I see no forseeable expansion in the Pac-10. 8-)
Hmm, one could go with an oddball mix of Utah and UNLV, but I don't know how well that would sit with Utes or the Pac 10. UNLV would want to play UA, ASU, USC, etc, but if they had to play in northern division with UO, OSU, UW, I don't know if they would like that or not. ???