Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn told the Boulder Daily Camera that Colorado expects to be one of six Big XII teams to be invited to join the Pac-10. This seems to validate Chip Brown's story from earlier this afternoon that Colorado, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State would receive invitations from the Pac-10 after the Pac-10 meetings this weekend.
Abruptly, Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe canceled a press conference this evening.
Read into it what you will.
Truth be told, just because the Pac-10 issues an invitation doesn't mean that each school is going to accept it. Texas A&M and Oklahoma appear to be the strongest in their resistance. Both schools seem to have feelers out towards the SEC. A&M's concern seems to revolve around travel concerns; when A&M's basketball teams were sent to Washington NCAA regionals last year, the return flight didn't land until 6:30 am the next morning.
What's driving the Pac-10 expansion talk? Well, there are a few theories. For starters, combining the Denver, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio media markets with Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle gives the Pac-16 an impressive footprint in the media universe...and across three timezones. With the intention of creating a Pac-16 Network, they expect that the money will rival the Big Ten Network's payout.
There's another school of thought that this is a ploy to scare Nebraska and Missouri into telling the Big Ten to bug off. (Courtesy Lane Grindle of the Husker Sports Network.) Chip Brown adds to this by suggesting that the Big Ten isn't as interested in Nebraska as Husker fans have been lead to believe. Maybe, maybe not. I'd think that if the Pac-10 were to add Oklahoma and Texas to the same conference as USC, the Big Ten would be delirious to assume that their resume would be fine by merely adding Rutgers and UConn.
The ploy theory might make sense if you consider that a few weeks ago, the Big XII and Pac Ten met to consider a joint venture. You wouldn't think that the Pac-10 would cannibalize the Big XII after those discussions...unless this is a big game of chicken. In any event, I'd suggest that getting started on a new television contract sooner might be the Big XII's best chance to survive. The numbers that the Pac Ten has seemingly run seem to indicate that it's possible to put together a deal without necessarily having a firm commitment from all your members. Sometimes these numbers have a way of convince people to make a commitment.
My take? I think the World-Herald's Lee Barfknecht has a read on it. Nebraska officials seem to be confident that the Huskers will end up in the Big Ten. If that's the case, this could be the biggest standoff seen in these parts since the days of the Wild West.
What's your take?