Utah to join league in 2011; no further expansion plannedby Javier Morales on Jun. 17, 2010, under Sports
Some of the more important developments to come out of today’s press conference at Rice-Eccles Stadium that announced Utah’s inclusion in the Pac-10, soon to be Pac-12 (Thanks to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News for supplying some of the information):
- Utah will begin competing in the Pac-10 in the 2011-12 academic year. Expect Colorado to follow suit because Nebraska is slated to join the Big Ten in 2011-12.
- A Pac-10 TV network is definitely in the works, according to league commissioner Larry Scott.
- Scott dismissed the talk about the league expanding further (which means the conference rivalry between Utah and BYU will come to an end).
- The league format (for example, if the conference will have a North and South division) is not yet decided. “There’s a process we’ll now go through, working closely with our athletic directors, to dig into those questions — whether to have a championship football game and whether to have divisions,” Scott is quoted as saying.
- Wilner, who has followed the expansion news from Day One, believes a championship football game is imminent with a revenue of $10-15 million a year. The decision of where the game will be played (neutral or at a campus site) is still up in the air, which is holding up the formal announcement of such a game.
- Colorado has maintained all along, according to the Denver Post, that the Buffaloes have been told they will be in the South Division with Utah and the Arizona and L.A. schools (which makes the most geographic sense).
- Wilner reports that some league athletic directors — perhaps those from the Bay area — are not OK with being in a division without California counterparts USC and UCLA.
“I am getting all kinds of proposals,” Scott is quoted as saying. “I don’t think we need to look at a lot of models, and I don’t think we’ve given our members a chance to express all the considerations they have. This is all, especially lately — things happened quickly, in a very tight way, without a lot of consultation from a lot of people…”
- According to Wilner, the Pacific northwest schools don’t want to be separated from USC and UCLA for reasons of ticket sales and recruiting exposure. Also, L.A. is a major area for alumni of all conference schools.