Thursday, June 29, 2006

Why Expansion Makes Sense to the Pac-10

Colorado to the Pacific 10? By no means is this out of the question. The Kansas City Star, in its recent series on the Big 12, considered the possible jump of the Buffaloes. Wrote Blair Kerkhoff: "Colorado, the only Big 12 school in another time zone, often looks West. Could it resist an overture from the Pac-10?" If Colorado headed West, it likely would do so with another team to maintain balance in the new conference and give the Buffaloes a travel partner. Although Air Force, Colorado State, Utah and Brigham Young are mentioned as candidates to join Colorado in the new league, the Utes and Cougars make the most sense to the Wiz. Now why would the Pac-10 even consider expansion? First, the conference could split into North and South divisions, with Colorado and its partner joining the Washington and Oregon schools in the North. This in turn would create a lucrative football title game without disturbing cherished league rivalries (Oregon-Oregon State, USC-UCLA, etc.). The second reason is that a beefed up Pac-10 — with the addition of the Denver and Salt Lake City markets — would be a television juggernaut. Consider this: outside of San Diego, Las Vegas and Albuquerque, the league would have every major TV market in the West. As for the Big 12, it likely would look to snare Arkansas from the SEC. The Razorbacks, from a geographical standpoint, are a better fit in the Big 12. And interestingly, Arkansas — a longtime rival of Texas — is appearing more and more on Big 12 schedules (registration).

21 comments:

greg6363 said...

While I think expansion would broaden the sphere of influence for the Pac-10, I don't think it will happen. I remember a few years ago hearing some of the AD's (from the Washington and Oregon schools) being concerned about losing a home date with USC if expansion took place. As for potential schools coming into the conference, Colorado certainly makes sense since their recruiting base lies west of the Rocky Mountains. In addition, you have to wonder how long BYU can sustain their program in the Mountain West. They no longer sell out Edwards Stadium on a regular basis like they did in the past. I know the former AD stated in the past they did not want to join a bigger conference but their financial well-being may just depend on making such a decision. It's not enough to be a big fish in a small pond since none of the other MVC schools approach the size of their fan base.

Zach Landres-Schnur said...

getting fresno st. in the pac-10 mix could be interesting as well.

Square Turd said...

So who would replace Arkansas in the SEC? Louisville?, Memphis?,

Commish CH said...

As a diehard CU fan, I would much rather spend a weekend in Seattle, LA, or Tempe than Lubbock, Norman, or Manhattan. But, tradition rules, and I dont think I could give up hating the huskers and others. Oh well, here's to another drive through Kansas.

Anonymous said...

The Pac 10 may well expand in the relatively near future. But don't expect the league to split North/South. The heart of the league is the California recruits, and the northern schools would never accept an arrangement that cuts their existing access to those recruits.

YTBlazer said...

Sorry, Zach, but not Fresno State. Without getting into academics which is an issue for any new Pac-10 member, Fresno doesn't bring anything to the party other than a good team -- not enough. TV market? Nah. California is covered. Recruiting territory? Nah. All they will do is compete for recruits and add nothing of value as in $$$. Also, the UC schools will not have it. Fresno is a non-starter through no fault of their own. You can subsitute San Diego State, too, for Fresno. Same deal.

Anonymous said...

CU won't leave the BIG XII...keep dreaming dude.

Anonymous said...

Sure they would. The bg 12 is a crap conference minus Texas, and the only reason Texas won a title is because they had such a patsy schedule = Big 12 schedule. Of course Colorado would leave. Better academic schools, better tradition, more titles, and the california market plus recruting base. You Big 12 fans live in a fantasy world. I mean, why would you want L.A. when you can have Norman and Lincoln. I mean, truly hilarious.

Anonymous said...

the only real solution for the big 12 to escape mediocrity is to expel colorado, iowa state and baylor (all three teams the last two especially have been suffering greatly in the athletic field) and to bring in iowa from the big 10 and actually give them a chance to compete for a championship because there is no way they will ever beat michigan and ohio state in the same year, boise state which will lead to some excellent football games (i.e. v OU, Texas) and Arkansas from the sec and relive old swc days when they were rivals against texas and a&m

Anonymous said...

I have been dying for Colorado to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10. Other than Texas, every other school in the Big 12 is not an academic/research peer to CU in terms of budget. CU falls right in the middle of the Pac-10 close to UW, ahead of AZ/ASU and WAY ahead of the Oregon schools. Arkanasas should bolt from the SEC, join the Big 12. Utah and BYU are the only schools that could reasonably join the Pac-10 with Colorado on an academic/sports basis. U NM needs could compete in sports but needs to kick up its academics to Oregon State levels

Ugo said...

Found your blog while doing a search. I think CU should go to the Pack ten along with Boise State or BYU. As for the little XII I am thinking TCU would be a good fit

Oz of the Y said...

As a BYU fan we would LOVE to be in the PAC and rest assured we are not joined at the hip with Utah. BYU is the top non-BCS school in football attendance, has gone to the NCAA tourney the last two years, and is a top 30 in the Sears cup. Academically we would rank fourth (about equal with UCLA). In a few years being in a BCS conference, recruiting would get even better and we would be competitive on a yearly basis. That and we hate the MWC. We travel well (15K in the Rose Bowl vs. UCLA this year). Down side: mainly the no Sunday play. Inconvenient, I understand, but workable.

Anonymous said...

BYU/UTAH make the most sense to me. but PAC - 10 would score if they got both Colorado and BYU.

As a BYU fan - I could learn to really hate Colorado as much as Utah!

Anonymous said...

I think that if the pac 10 does expand it will not only look for large television markets, but it will also look to keep it's state rivalry pattern (UofA ASU, UO OSU, UW WSU etc.) as well as look for good academic schools. BYU and Utah would fit the bill, but their conservative views do not fit with the Pac 10, CU snd CSU are an option, but i don't think it really fits the pacific theme. That leaves very few options. new mexico and NMSU might be an option, or Possibly UNR UNLV, Las Vegas is a very large and growing TV market and UNR is a tier 1 reasearch university, UNLV is tier 2 and on the fast track to tier 1 status. UNLV has the b-Ball program as well as some decent olympic sports, and with BCS money UNR would be respectable in both B-Ball and football

CFBrulz said...

You do realize that Colorado is ranked behind UT, A&M and Baylor and is only slightly ahead of ISU and KU right?

I can see wanting to go to the locals of the PAC 10, but lets not pretend CU is the academic class of the Big 12.

Jeff said...

That would be a dream come true for the blue guys from BYU to join the PAC 10. Going with UT would be the best scenario, but going with CU would be fine as well. It would provide some nice trips instead of Laramie, Albuquerque and Ft Collins where the cougs are hated to the core due to those teams being trounced most years. Conference championships have been watered down, I would prefer one PAC 10 championship over 10 MWC championships. BYU also had a nice rivalry going with ASU until the AZ schools defected in '78. With the additional millions of dollars and recruits desiring to play in the conference of champions would elevate BYU's current already competetive level. Plus the PAC 10 has gotten stale with no additions for 30 years now--time to get over their narcisism and add BYU!

matt from michigan said...

I'm confused... Why wouldn't the Pac-10 take in Hawaii? They've had a good program in multiple sports fot the past few years and they fit in geograpically.

someone brought up the big 12 stealing iowa from the big ten? hahahahaha... ha. If anything the Big Ten is gonna steal Mizzou from the Big 12 to give us a championship game and another quality team.

Trina and Chris said...

I know the PAC 10 does not wnat to expand, but lets say in a few years the college athletics landscape changes and they are sort of forced to do it. BYU will not be considered as they don't play on sundays and the culture does not fit in the PAC 10. They might want to consider UNLV as a serious candidate. It is in a fairly large TV market, fits the geographical footprint, and is an excellent travel destination city. Vegas is practically So Cal anyway with the culture. Granted the football program needs a little work, but throw some BCS money at it and it would be respectable. UNLV is on a serious up swing in b-ball and would right now finish in the top 2-4 in the PAC 10. UNLV also has some other decent sports programs such as W. Soccer, W. Volleyball M&W swimming, and M&W golf. Not only that, it is the premere academic institution in Nevada and it houses a dental school and a top 100 law school. I think UNLV would be a great fit in th PAC 10.

Kevin said...

All current PAC-10 schools are premiere research based (oriented) schools. That cuts UNLV, UNR, Boise State, Colorado State, Colorado, NMSU, UNM, and Fresno State off of the list. This leaves Hawaii, Utah, and BYU.

Hawaii has a medical school and would attract large crowds at events. They, however, need to show a little more consistency in all sports. I also doubt they bring much to the TV market and they don't have a rival team to fit into the PAC-10 trend.

The best fit is BYU and Utah. They are premiere research institutions. BYU has a top law school, business school, engineering program, accounting program, and more applicants to medical/dental school every year than any other school. Utah has a top medical school, a good business school, and a respectable law school.

They have the ability to attract large crowds. However, an expended TV market isn't Utah's strong suit. I like the idea of the basketball championship at the Utah Jazz stadium.

As for playing games on Sunday, that wouldn't be a big deal. The former WAC commissioner, Joe Kearney, said that he never had a problem with this issue. He says "it's a bogus criticism." (http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/wildcats/37920.php)

Adding Utah and BYU would also keep with the rivalry concept. The only problem you deal with is dividing the conference into two divisions. One thing is for sure though, most years if it isn't BYU winning the conference in football, it's Utah. And this year is no different. The MWC just doesn't provide the competition to compete with BYU and Utah.

I do get satisfaction knowing though that this last week the MWC swept the PAC-10 in football. 4-0. BYU over UCLA, UNM over Arizona, UNLV over ASU, and TCU over Stanford. Heck, so far BYU is in front in PAC-10 play at 2-0!

BYU fanatic said...

I agree with so many things on this post. BYU and Utah would be the premiere fit to join the Pac-10. I don't see why a conference would shy away from the opportunity to have a conference championship. I understand that it can lessen the chance of two teams making it, but it can also bring unspeakable amounts of money to the conference. Conference championships are CONSTANTLY sold out, and are always a hot ticket game to go to. BYU has sold out every single game this year (65,900 fans), and will continue to do so I believe. Utah has shown they are a good football program (2004 BCS, consistent winners).
Academically speaking, according to Forbes.com, BYU Marriott school of Business is ranked three behind the magnificent "UCLA." This ranks them at the #17 business school in America. How does this not fit the academic excellence of the Pac-10. For law schools, BYU ranked behind USC, UCLA, UC Berkley, and Stanford. Those are the PRIME academics in the Pac-10. I just don't see the downside to BYU and Utah joining. It would unite the whole western fan base, and I already know BYU and UCLA have quite the rivalry brewing these past few years. I am sure UCLA, USC, Stanford, ASU, U of A, Washington, Oregon, and all the other teams would love a shot at the Cougs. Lets make it official.

Anonymous said...

In terms of Pac-10 expansion and all the discussion about colorado joining, here is an intersting historical point. when the big 12 was about to be formed with the demise of the southwest conf in the early-mid 90's, bill walsh of stanford suggested expanding the pac-10 based on athletic and academic quality. the two schools were colorado buffaloes and texas longhorns!