Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘utah utes’

The past few days have been crazy with the rumor mill churning out a new scenario about conference expansion every five minutes. After being on life support, the Big 12 was resuscitated at the very last minute and it appears that it will now live on as a 10 school conference. While we won’t ultimately know the ramifications of this development for a few years, there are some clear short-term winners and losers.

Winners

Texas

Ultimately this decision is what’s best for the Longhorns at this moment. Reports claim Texas will bring in between $22-25 million per year from the conference in the new configuration. The Big 12 will continue to distribute its revenue on a graduated scale and the Longhorns will also be able to establish their own television network and keep the proceeds. From a competition standpoint, the loss of the Big 12 championship game and a rising challenger in Nebraska will give Texas an easier route to the BCS championship game.

Kansas, Kansas St., Missouri, Baylor and Iowa St.

Staring down the prospect of being hung out to dry without a conference, the decision to keep the band together certainly stabilizes the fortunes of these five schools. The Big 12 also claims that it will be able to roughly double the revenue it gives to each of these schools. Only Missouri could have hoped to bring in more revenue than that; the hope being contingent on an invitation to join the Big Ten. I’m still not completely writing that possibility off.

Dan Beebe

Facing the prospects of losing his conference and his job, Beebe was able to present a compelling case to the school that clearly calls all the shots, Texas. Whatever he did over the weekend worked and he deserves a lot of credit. Of course, now comes the hard part – delivering what he has promised.

Utah

It now looks like a safe bet that the Utes will be invited to join the Pac-10. This will be a really nice upgrade for Utah. It also makes me excited to say that I did predict that the Pac-10 would add Colorado and Utah to grow to 12 teams back in May.

Losers

Texas A&M

– This is assuming there was some commitment by the SEC that they would invite the Aggies to join their conference. If Texas A&M turned down that opportunity to stay in the Big 12 than they are a big loser. Joining the SEC would have given the Aggies a chance to step out of the Longhorns’ shadow, earn more revenue than they will in the Big 12 and be affiliated with the premier conference in college football. Of course, politics may have been at play here. Like Virginia when it came time to voting Virginia Tech into the ACC, Texas A&M may have been forced to do something that worked to the detriment of their university by state politicians.

Colorado

– The Buffaloes lost on two fronts. One, because they are being painted as panicking that the Big 12 was going to dissolve and moving too quickly. I don’t think this is fair but it can be filed under “perception is reality.” Two, because with the Big 12 staying together they are now responsible for what’s being estimated as a $6-8 million exit payment to the conference. Ultimately I think the Pac-10 move is a good one for Colorado.

Larry Scott

– He deserves a lot of credit for swinging for the fences but ultimately he got a single. Adding Colorado and Utah will be nice and the Pac-10 will now be able to host an annual football championship game. But it’s nowhere near the visions of grandeur that were being imagined.

Mountain West

– With the bold attempts by the Pac-10 to raid the Big 12, the Mountain West was starting to picture a scenario where they could add Kansas, Kansas St., Missouri and Iowa St. and become a bigger player in football and basketball. Now that the possibility has collapsed the conference is likely to lose Utah to the Pac-10. Even with the addition of Boise St., that is a big loss.

Who do you think the biggest winners and losers were? Please post your thoughts in the comments.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

After the Big Ten and SEC max out their conferences with major expansions that take them to 16 programs, the Pac-10 will get back into the game.  I’ve already predicted that the Pac-10 will execute a modest two program expansion that includes Colorado and Utah.  I think they will pursue a second expansion, but after further thought I do not think it will be to a maximum level of 16.  I think they will add two more teams to get to 14.

Part of my reasoning is that I don’t think there are four more candidates that would be good fits in the conference.  As Schmolik over at the bleacher report writes, it is difficult to find six ideal candidates for a Pac-10 expansion.  One school that he doesn’t include in his evaluation is Nebraska.  That’s because he’s assuming Nebraska will be invited to join the Big Ten.  I do not believe that will be the case.  I believe Nebraska will be invited and will join the Pac-10.

The Cornhuskers would be a big coup for Pac-10 football.  They will instantly be one of the top three programs in the conference, will bring some more national attention to the league and also have an excellent athletics program that has them currently ranked sixth in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings.  While Nebraska’s culture and academics are not a perfect match for the conference, their athletics are ideal.  And since the Pac-10 has already moved inland with the addition of Colorado and Utah, their location will not be a problem.  Their move to the Pac-10 will also reignite their rivalry with Colorado.

The other school I believe will join the Pac-10 is Kansas.  The Jayhawks certainly don’t have the depth of sports programs that most Pac-10 schools have, nor are they a major power in football.  But I believe their incredible basketball history will carry the day and appeal greatly to the Pac-10.  The chance to have UCLA and Kansas compete for league titles year after year will be too much for the conference to pass on the Jayhawks.

So the Pac-10 will swoop in and grab a pair of the “remaining” Big 12 schools and greatly enhance their conference membership.  Would they consider additional schools to get to 16?  Sure.  But, I don’t think they’d have a lot to gain from adding Baylor, Kansas St., TCU or any of the other possible candidates.  Their only reasons for expanding further would be to keep up with the SEC and Big Ten or to expand into the Texas market.

What do you think of the new 14 team Pac-10?  Would Colorado, Utah, Nebraska and Kansas be good additions to the conference?

Photo source: beatboxbadhabit

Read Full Post »

After the Big Ten adds three Big East teams to its ranks to get to 14, the likely next move will be made by the Pac-10.  They have already started investigating expansion and will be able to react quickly after the Big Ten.

One of the important reasons for Pac-10 expansion is to get to 12 schools so it can start holding an annual football championship game.  At FanHouse Brian Grummell paints an excellent picture of the things that matter most for Pac-10 expansion.  The keys include institutions that focus on research and that are located in major television markets. 

I’m sure the Pac-10 would love to add Texas.  The Longhorns will be a target of every future conference expansion and I think they will eventually be nabbed, but not by the Pac-10. 

The three schools that have been talked about most in regards to Pac-10 expansion are Colorado, Utah and BYU.  Colorado is a natural fit in the conference.  Their academic profile is ideal, they have a solid athletic program history and Denver is a large television market.  Between the two Beehive State schools BYU has a better athletics history, but Utah is really the much better fit for the Pac-10 from a research standpoint and the fact that it is in a larger television market.

So I think the Pac-10 will go against its history of adding rival schools (for now) and will invite, and add, Colorado and Utah.

After these two moves, who’s next?  Will the Big East and Big 12 counter the pilfering of their programs?  Are the ACC and SEC ready to grow?  Is the Big Ten headed for further expansion?  I’ll post my thoughts in a couple of days.

Read Full Post »