The Future Of The Pac-10

About 15 years ago, when the carcass of the Southwest Conference was picked apart, I predicted that college football would someday have about four super conferences. It has taken a while, but Sports Illustrated says that day might be near. So what does that mean for the Pac-10?

Cutting to the chase, the Pac-10 likely will add Colorado and Utah. Other names have been floated, such as Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State, BYU, and Texas. But Colorado and Utah just make more sense. The Pac-10 would love to add Texas — who wouldn’t? — but that’s not going to happen. Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State don’t fit the conference’s desire to add major research universities; Colorado and Utah do.

Most important, Colorado delivers the Denver TV market, and Utah would bring the Salt Lake market. That’s what it’s all about, especially if the league follows the Big Ten and the SEC and develops its own cable network.

As for BYU, John Canzano brought up a good point on his radio show — if BYU joins the Pac-10, that’s a huge recruiting boost for the school. Wouldn’t they get nearly every LDS athlete if they were in a premier conference instead of a second-tier league?

As we have pointed out before, the danger for the Washington and Oregon schools is that they could suffer when the Pac-10 divides into two divisions. Colorado and Utah would join the Northwest schools in the North Division, and I can’t see how that would be good for recruiting. To be successful in football, all the schools up here need to effectively recruit in California, and that gets more difficult is you’re playing at, say, UCLA just once every four years.

I envision the Pac-10 turning into the Big 12, where all the power is concentrated in the southern schools.

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