Another year, another ‘Utah to the Pac 10’ rumor
The void created in the college football offseason is filled with a heightened focus on recruiting, spring practice, and power ranking of teams that have yet to take the field. But there is another constant that arrived years ago, surfacing along with the BCS, and it’s the annual discussion of conference expansion.
The Pac 10 is always the popular makeover candidate, and this year comes without exception. Just one month after the football season came to an official close, rumors are already swirling over possible additions. The new speculations are comprised of old names, as the grapevine discards originality for repetition. It’s “Utah and Colorado to the Pac 10” all over again, the same song sung for at least eight years and counting.
This year’s rumor arrives with more than a suggestion, with ABC sports in Salt Lake City claiming that “their sources” informed them that the Utes will be invited to join the conference. In addition, Colorado will also flee the Big XII for the Pac 10, creating a domino effect that would allow BYU to replace the Buffs in the north. The Cougars have historically faced more Pac 10 opponents than the two schools in consideration, but they are tossed aside for their restriction of games played on Sundays.
I can understand Utah wanting to move to a BCS conference, but Colorado leaving the Big XII is a bit far-fetched. Even as a bad team, the Big XII earning potential is greater than the Pac. And as for Utah, they weren’t marketable ten years ago, and nothing has changed. Good athletic programs to offer the conference? Yes. Ability to assist in bringing value and earning potential to the league?—No!
Expansion is not a football or basketball decision. It’s a business decision. The Pac 10 has failed to expand over the years, because it has yet to find neighbors that make good business partners. It may eventually succumb to the pressure of expansion talk, but location alone places limits on their search, and excludes programs more profitable than those nearest the coast.