June 10, 2010
Regardless of whether Texas and Texas A&M get cold feed about heading West or not, the Pac-10 remains committed to expanding.
Colorado will announce at a news conference on Friday morning that it has formally accepted the Pac-10's invitation to join the conference, the Boulder Daily Camera is reporting. Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are each tentatively committed to joining the Pac-10 as well assuming Nebraska leaves for the Big Ten, but the San Jose Mercury News reports that if that somehow hit a snag and the Big 12 remained intact, the Pac-10 would likely invite Utah instead.
That the Pac-10 would add Colorado and Utah even if its Texas gambit falls through suggests that commissioner Larry Scott is convinced adding the Denver and Salt Lake TV markets would be worth splitting revenue 12 ways instead of 10. Denver is the nation's No. 16 TV market and Salt Lake City is No. 31.
Furthermore, if Colorado indeed formally accepts an invitation on Thursday, that means the Texas state legislature's attempt to keep the four in-state Big 12 teams together has likely failed. Either the Pac-10 has received assurances from Texas that Baylor not receiving an invitation won't be a deal breaker, or the conference so prefers Colorado's geography, TV market and lack of religious affiliation that it's willing to take that risk.
No matter what happens throughout the rest of the realignment process, Colorado to the Pac-10 is one of the few completely logical decisions we will see.
Colorado has a massive alumni base in California, it fits the academic profile of the rest of the Pac-10, and it should help the conference negotiate a better TV deal next year as a result of its fan base and history of football success.