The first domino fell today when the Pac-10 announced that Colorado has accepted an invitation to join the Pac-10:
The Pac-10 announced Thursday that the University of Colorado has agreed to leave the Big 12 to join its conference.
"This is an historic moment for the conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth," commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
"The University of Colorado is a great fit for the conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10."
I have to admit to being taken aback by the Pac-10 stuff that started a couple of weeks or so ago. For so long, only the Big Ten was being discussed seriously and now, out of the blue, the entire landscape of college football is being changed.
The most intriguing aspect out there to me is the thought of the 16-team Pac-10 league. We keep hearing about schools only expanding so far geographically due to travel and such, but the Pac-10 seems to have that issue figured out:
With Nebraska reportedly headed to the Big Ten, the Pac-10 is poised to extend offers to six current Big 12 members, ramping up its numbers to 16.
Pac-10 officials declined to talk about the deal on the record because of the sensative nature of negotiations, but one with knowledge of the plan said, "It's locked and loaded."
Joining the Pac-10 in 2012 would be Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Colorado.
The new Pac-16 would divide into divisions, with the original Pac-8 schools aligned in one division and Arizona and Arizona State joining the six Big 12 schools in the other division.
So it sounds like essentially there would be a Pac-10 West and Pac-10 East and they would play teams mostly (if not completely) within their division. That of course begs the question, would we see conference remnants align themselves together to create a large divisional conference - say a retooled Big East and a retooled Big 12?
I don't know - that's likely a reach. All of the talk out there is that even the Big 12 is already conceding that losing Nebraska would likely mean the end of the conference. Still, I think it's an option for conferences that may get swallowed up. What's to say there couldn't be a new conference combining the Big 12 (with some lesser schools in the midwest/west) and the Big East (with some lesser schools like East Carolina, Marshall, etc). Not likely, again, just thoughts.
This is exactly why I haven't been posting on this. Things are far from settled and likely won't be for at least a little while longer.