Plan B: What are the Pac-10 expansion options now that Texas is staying put?by Scott Terrell on Jun. 16, 2010, under Sports
The Pac-10 got its heart broken.
The western conference made a play for the prettiest girl in town. There was a lot of flirting and she seemed really interested but at the end of the day she went back to her old boyfriend (who just lost his job and was accused of cheating on her).
The Texas Longhorns are staying in the Big 12 and the remaining ten schools have re-pledged their allegiance. The Pac-10 will put on its tough-guy face and say it never really cared about Texas and was just using her anyway.
After the he said/she said stuff dies down the Pac-10 will move on. Here’s a look at what could be next:
Stay at 11
Even though it was hoped the Colorado move would bring about the demise of the Big 12, the Buffaloes are here to stay. Is the Pac-11 a viable option?
The Big Ten turned it up to 11 when it added Penn State in 1990 and what did it get them? Two decades of unbalanced schedules where who you didn’t play was more important than who you played. It’s not surprising that the conference just added Nebraska with plans to split into divisions and play a football championship game.
Go to 12
When it comes to sports even numbers are better than odd so logic says the Pac-11 needs another team. The Big 12 Minus 2 just shot you down. The Big Ten Plus Two is growing instead of shrinking. The SEC, ACC and Big East are too far away. That leaves teams from the Mountain West and WAC.
The best WAC football program just joined the MWC. Two of the top three football teams in the Mountain West are religious schools that don’t appeal the Pac-10 powers that be.
Go beyond 12
The Pac-10 could add Utah and decide not to stop there, but the remaining schools in this half of the country don’t bring a lot of athletic clout. UNLV? San Diego State? The only point of having a super conference is to combine super teams and that dream died when Texas stayed home.
No option is going to look as good (or as lucrative) as adding the Longhorns and half the Big 12. To add insult to the rejection is the fact that the shrunken Big 12 now has the potential for the perfect college sports structure.
A nine-game round-robin football schedule with no need for a championships game. An 18-game home-and-home basketball schedule. Sound familiar?
I was in favor of taking a shot at the Texan riches. But it’s too bad the Pac-10 no longer has the option of remaining a ten-team league. Now that the symmetry is gone for good the best plan is to add Utah and be done with it.
For now. Stopping at 12 gives you the chance to keep your eye on what happens in the Lone Star State over the next few years.
You never know who will get their heart broken next.