Blog Entry

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

Posted on: June 3, 2010 7:52 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2010 9:04 pm
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott didn't exactly deny Thursday's's report regarding a raid on the Big 12. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe didn't react at all, hurrying to an elevator with media trailing behind.

It's obvious the report that predicted the biggest upheaval, perhaps ever in conference affiliation, touched a nerve all over the country.

Scott told the Denver Post late Thursday afternoon in San Francisco only that there will be no offer this weekend. The internet report said that it "appears" the Pac-10 "is prepared" to invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado from the Big 12. The "thought is," according to the story, that the Pac-10 would then start its own network.

"I don't expect anything definitive," Scott said of the Pac-10 meetings that begin on Friday. "Nothing's changed in terms of our timetable. We've been very consistent. We're on course and moving deliberately."

As the story moved into Thursday evening, the report appeared to gain traction. Scott has said from the beginning that he would like to have a plan of attack by this summer. It is known that the Pac-10 must have its membership finalized by December in order to begin the next round of television negotiations with Fox. Its current contract with Fox expires in 2012, the same year as the Big 12.

The two conferences have discussed a partnership and scheduling alliance that would fall short of a full merger.

Here are several thoughts about the report.

  Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne are both on record within the last two days as saying they did not favor the Pac-10 because of the strain on the student-athletes. Byrne, in particular, was furious that the women's basketball team had to travel all night from the Spokane, Wash. to College Station after an NCAA Tournament loss. The team's plane landed at 6:30 a.m. CT. Players had to be in class at 8 a.m.

  On the other hand, Texas has long looked down its nose at having to play the likes of Baylor and Iowa State in the Big 12. The school might have also tired of whining from Missouri about uneven conference revenue distribution. Dodds said earlier this week, "We're going to be a player in whatever happens."

  Scott aims high. It's obvious he wasn't hired by the Pac-10 to vet out the likes of Utah and BYU. Pac-10 expansion has moved to another level. That doesn't mean they'll necessarily get six Big 12 teams. It might mean the Pac-10 is going to try like hell, though.

  Buyouts wouldn't be an issue with a raided Big 12. How do you buy out of a conference that doesn't exist? With half of its members gone, the remaining Big 12 teams would be scrambling.

  Beebe refused to answer reporters questions on Thursday at the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City, saying he would speak on Friday. That's out of character for the usually affable Beebe who headed for elevator with reporters tailing behind. Is the Big 12 reeling from a knockout blow, looking for a way to retrench?

  Anyone want to ask the Rose Bowl's opinion of this? The contract with the Pac-10 is for ... the Pac-10. Not a 16-team conglomerate that might advance Texas Tech to Pasadena. While the network deals are redone, don't forget some bowl contracts are going to have to reconfigured.

  Missouri and Nebraska have to be nervous. Those fans better hope their schools get invited to the Big Ten. If not, we're looking at the Mountain West suddenly inviting the Big 12 leftovers. Nebraska at New Mexico? Colorado State vs. Missouri for a division title? Not exactly the Big Ten, fellas.    

  The Mountain West could be in the right place at the right time. The league is expected to invite Boise State on Monday, expanding to 10 teams. The MWC is attempting to gain automatic BCS qualification status. Adding Missouri and Nebraska wouldn't hurt that pursuit.

  What does the Big Ten do if the Pac-10 becomes the first superconference? Or does it even matter? Missouri and Nebraska are still in play. How, then, does the SEC respond? If the report is true, the Pac-16(?) would pass the SEC in revenue paying out $20 million per team. The SEC/s new deal with CBS and ESPN guarantees each team $17 million.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2010 8:41 pm

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

Rather, it was the WAC expansion; the Big West was raided in the expansion which led to it not sponsoring football soon after.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: June 3, 2010 8:37 pm

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

What most people dont' rememeber, or want to be ignorant about, is that the Big West tried this. They expanded to 16 teams. Granted, they were 16 "mid-majors" as we call them today, but the travel and scheduling just put huge strains on the conference. They used 4 divisions of 4 instead of 2 divisions of 8, because otherwise, you have the ugly schedule of playing your 7 in-division teams (so then you can actually declare a divisional champion) and you play 1 team from the other division. It would take 16 years to play a home-and-home in your conference. It defeats the purpose of a conference because you although you are more linked to the other teams, you are are as releated to the team you don't play as to the teams you play out of conference.

This new Pac 10 seems to cause just this problem, with teams as far southeast as A&M and as far northwest as Washington. They have the money to travel, yes, but like was mentioned in this article, you are going to be putting some strain on your players, especially in baseball and basketball. You can try to put the long distance games on the weekend, but if you want to be on TV, you may be required to put a USC/Texas or Texas/Washington game on TV on a Wednesday or Thursday night.

The "new" Big 10 that has been proposed and an earlier article that had the SEC raiding some of these teams made a lot more sense. This seems all about the money rather than expansion. At least it makes since that the Big 10 grows; they've been lying to us for 20 years with 11 teams.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2010 8:36 pm

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

I think Big Ten commish Delany  has to be smiling if this report were true because it might make Notre Dame much more worried about being left out of the BCSThat and if it happened, the SEC can't respond. Of the ACC members, only Clemson would have any interest in the SEC.
That said, will this happen? Highly doubtful. I think it's another bogus rumor.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: June 3, 2010 8:22 pm

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

Oh man...this is getting more screwy every day. How would this play out? Play everyone in your division plus one from another division and four OOC games? Or keep playing nine IC games with three OOC?

I don't know if this is a great idea...those are the best of the Big 12. Texas, USC, Oklahoma, and Oregon in one conference? That's a heck of a tough road to the conference title.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: June 3, 2010 8:19 pm

Pac-10 to become first superconference, maybe

I think Big Ten commish Delany  has to be smiling if this report were true because it might make Notre Dame much more worried about being left out of the BCS

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