Written by John Giffin Tuesday, 08 June 2010 15:49
Following the lead of the Big 10 Conference, the Pac 10 is trying to raid the Big 12. Given the go-ahead to proceed with expansion in a meeting in San Francisco Sunday, Pac 10 commissioner Larry Scott is looking to add up to six teams from the Big 12.
The teams that could receive offers are Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor and Colorado.
The Pac 10 would align the teams into two divisions. The western division would be USC, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, California and Stanford.
Six Big 12 teams would join Arizona and Arizona State in the eastern division.
The expansion would be good for the Pac 10 but devastating to the Big 12 conference, which is in danger of losing Nebraska and Missouri to the Big 10.
Looking to move forward as a conference, the Big 12 has demanded a June 11 decision deadline to the schools recruited by the Big 10.
In the midst of the expansion madness, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe and conference administrators have revived Kansas City as the home of the Big 12 basketball tournament and are working to bring the conference football title game to Arrowhead Stadium—both moves to give the Huskers and Tigers incentive to stay.
The Big 12’s preference to Kansas City gives the south reason to explore the Pac 10 option. In the Pac 10 expansion package is a football championship game that alternates year-to-year between the Rose Bowl and the new Cowboys Stadium.
Moving to the Pac 10 would also open up recruiting avenues from the West Coast to the current Big 12 teams and Texas prospects to the West Coast.
Benefitting the most from the expansion would be the Pac 10. With Texas, USC and Oklahoma in the same conference, the 16-team conference would immediately challenge the SEC as the top football conference.
Since the inaugural season of the BCS title game in 1998-1999, the Big 12 has played in more title games than any other conference, yet has only won two. Texas and Oklahoma have won one national championship a-piece and have made six of the seven trips to the title game. Nebraska made the other trip, falling to Miami in 2002.
USC accounts for three Pac 10 trips to the BCS title game winning the national title in 2005 over the Sooners. The SEC has won six BCS titles with four teams in six tries.
The move would also give the Pac 10 more major media markets including Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Denver and San Antonio.
If the Big 12 can’t hold its teams, what happens to Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and any other team not moving to another conference? They could be absorbed into the Missouri Valley or Mountain West.
There has also been speculation about adding teams from the Missouri Valley and Mountain West and forming a new conference. Other scenarios have KU and K-State moving to the Mountain West or Conference USA and Iowa State entering the MAC.
Whatever happens, Big 12 fans are in a state of confusion, hoping for an end to the raiding of their beloved conference.