Posted on: June 18, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2010 3:30 pm
Utah's move to the Pac-10 means Utah and BYU will no longer be in the same conference.
It could also end the basketball series between the two rivals.
"It'll be interesting to see if we play them now," Utah coach Jim Boylen told CBSSports.com by phone, at which point I asked if he wants to continue the series by playing every season and alternating courts.
"I love the rivalry," Boylen answered. "I also think it's always the most soldout game. So financially, for both us, it's pretty good. ... But I don't know. I don't make those decisions."
The truth is that if Utah (Pac-10) pulled out of its series with BYU (MWC) the Utes would likely be criticized the same way Washington (Pac-10) was criticized for pulling out of its series with Gonzaga (WCC). Nobody likes it when an in-state power in a "power" league refuses to play an in-state power in a league outside of the BCS; it's viewed as a sign of arrogance. And, beyond that, the Utes don't need to give BYU the opportunity to tell recruits "they're scared to play us," which is why my guess is that Utah will continue the in-state series and play the Cougars home-and-home, at least once a season.
That's the other thing people forget, by the way.
There's nothing that states non-league schools can't play twice in a season.
It almost never happens, I know.
But it could if Utah and BYU wanted it to happen.
Posted on: June 17, 2010 11:15 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2010 11:47 pm
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 184
Had a good Thursday: The press conference on the Utah campus to announce a move from the Mountain West to the Pac-10 doubled as a celebration for the school's true BCS-busting moment. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott attended along with Rose Bowl representatives. They explained that Utah will become the Pac-10's 12th member in 2011, which will forever be known as the year the Utes went from hanging with the have-nots to being one of the haves.
Had a bad Thursday: What began as a promising day for Central Florida and Memphis turned into more frustration for their fans as the Big East officially denied an Orlando TV report that claimed it's "highly likely" UCF and Memphis will be invited to the Big East in the next two weeks. Does that mean expansion is over? No. Does that mean UCF and Memphis won't get invitations at some point? No. But fans of the C-USA schools have been waiting for their Utah-to-the-Pac-10 moment for some time, particularly Memphis fans, and Thursday was another day that good news didn't come.
Quote of the day: "When you compete for championships in the Pac-10, you compete for national championships." -- Utah athletic director Chris Hill, who has watched his Utes go undefeated twice in the past six seasons but never play for a national title because of their Mountain West affiliation.
Link of the day: Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has been a loud critic of the BCS, and don't expect that to change just because the Utes are now a part of a BCS league. "Utah moving to the Pac-10 doesn't mean the BCS has suddenly become a fair and equitable system," Hatch said. Click this link to read Hatch's comments in the Salt Lake Tribune.
On tap: Thursday's announcement that Utah is moving to the Pac-10 should end all expansion developments for the near future unless the Big East makes a move on UCF and/or Memphis. In other words, enjoy your weekend.
Posted on: June 17, 2010 9:48 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 2:52 pm
An Orlando TV station report that Memphis and Central Florida could both receive Big East invitations "as soon as next week" has been refuted by the league, associate commissioner John Paquette told CBSSports.com on Thursday.
"We are officially denying the Orlando station's report," Paquette said.
The station described the invitations as "highly likely" to happen.
The station's sources were characterized as "multiple college football sources."
Meantime, the Orlando Sentinel described the Orlando station's report as "premature" but added that Big East officials will privately discuss expansion during a Thursday teleconference. This all comes five days after CBSSports.com reported that Memphis could receive an invitation to join the Big East "soon." That report came while other media reports detailed the Pac-10's plan to expand to 16 schools and eliminate the Big 12, which would've likely created a slew of movement throughout the rest of the nation. On Monday, however, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe convinced the 10 remaining Big 12 members to commit to his league. That led to the Pac-10 only inviting Utah and, almost certainly, halting expansion at 12 members, which most believe will prevent the Big Ten from raiding the Big East in an attempt to reach 16 members and by extension prevent the Big East from having to recover.
Utah is expected to accept an invitation to join the Pac-10 on Thursday afternoon.
The Big East currently features eight football-playing members and 16 schools that compete in men's basketball. The additions of Memphis and Central Florida would give the Big East 10 football-playing members and 18 schools to compete in men's basketball -- plus two notable television markets, the nation's third-largest university (UCF), and another nationally relevant basketball program (Memphis).
Posted on: June 17, 2010 12:11 am
Edited on: June 17, 2010 12:14 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 183
Had a good Wednesday: Utah received a formal invitation from the Pac-10, then scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon, at which point administrators will announce that the invitation has been accepted. In other words, the Utes are heading to a BCS league. That means they'll likely never again have to worry about going undefeated and being left out of the national title game.
Had a bad Wednesday: The Mountain West learned that it's losing its premier football program, and even the addition of Boise State won't offset Utah's departure. It's a shame for MWC commissioner Craig Thompson. He's done a good job developing a good league, but it's almost like he's the Royals and Larry Scott is the Yankees considering Thompson oversaw Utah's rise, then lost the Utes to an entity that could guarantee more money.
Quote of the day: "This recognition can only be a matter of pride for the people of Utah," Utah president Bernie Machen, now the president at Florida, told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Link of the day: Click this link to read the Salt Lake Tribune's coverage of Utah's invitation from the Pac-10.
On tap: There's still some speculation that the Big East could add another member or two. Memphis and UCF are the schools most commonly mentioned as possibilities. But there is no known timeframe for the Big East to act, one way or another. Or not at all.
Posted on: June 16, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 3:42 pm
Utah's Board of Trustees has scheduled a public meeting for Thursday, at which point they are expected to approve a departure from the Mountain West Conference to the Pac-10, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The paper reported that the only topic listed is "Discussion of Athletic conference."
The move is a consolation prize of sorts for Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, whose goal was to expand to 16 members by adding Colorado, Texas and four other Big 12 schools. He got Colorado last week and seemed on the verge of adding Texas and four others. But Texas rejected an invitation Monday, which prevented the Big 12's demise and opened this BCS door for Utah.
The Pac-10 will now be a 12-school league.
That means it will be allowed, according to NCAA guidelines, to hold a conference championship game in football.
Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:08 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 182
Had a good Tuesday: What has long been clear -- especially to those in Nebraska -- became even more clear Tuesday when various teleconferences around the country featured conference commissioners and school athletic directors explaining in great detail how much Texas controlled in this process and will control in the future. Now that everything has mostly settled, what we know going forward is that Texas will make more money while having an easier path to the BCS title game given that Nebraska is out of the league and there will be no Big 12 Championship Game. That's a win-win. So though there were lots of winners (and some losers) throughout this wacky process, Texas, by far is the biggest winner.
Had a bad Tuesday: Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson seemed set to improve his league a week ago with the addition of Boise State, but now multiple media outlets in Utah are reporting that the Utes are headed to the Pac-10. Mountain West + Boise State - Utah = Not good. It's still a nice league, sure. But it won't be as nice as it was or as it thought it was going to become.
Quote of the day: "I wanted to ensure I was carrying out the will of our higher being here, to make sure that we continue." -- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe apparently suggesting that a higher being wanted the Big 12 to continue to exist. So that settles it, right? God is a Texas fan.
Link of the day: Click this link to read a detailed look at how this process developed and changed and developed some more from OrangeBloods.com's Chip Brown. Tremendous reporting and insight.
On tap: Utah will continue to wait for a formal invitation from the Pac-10. It could come Thursday.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 11:47 am
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 181
Had a good day: Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe went from the verge of having his league dissolve to solidifying a new agreement that will keep the 10 remaining schools together. Beebe convinced Texas to stay by convincing school officials that it can make $25 million a year in television revenue going forward. Is that true? Who knows? But Texas believed it and committed to the Big 12, which is all that matters now.
Had a bad day: Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott went from the verge of having the nation's first super conference to likely having to offer invitation to Utah just to get the Pac-10 to 12 schools. Imagine that. One day you think you're adding Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the next you're reduced to offering an invitation to the school Urban Meyer left for Florida. I'm not sure if Larry Scott drinks. But if he does, he probably is right now. Or at least he should be.
Quote of the day: "I got resuscitated. You can take your hands off my chest." -- Baylor football coach Art Briles , who will continue to be a Big 12 coach thanks to Texas deciding to hold the Big 12 together. Had that not happened, Baylor (and Briles) could've been headed to the Mountain West or Conference USA. That would've been disappointing, especially considering Briles already coached in C-USA once (at Houston).
Link of the day: Click this link to read the latest from Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown, who might've benefited as much as anybody over the past two weeks. Brown owned the realignment story from start to finish, proof being how he was the first to report Texas might leave the Big 12 for the Pac-10, and the first to report Texas would reject the Pac-10 to stay in the Big 12.
On tap: The next move will likely be the Pac-10 offering membership to Utah. Meantime, Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is expected to choose between the Spartans and Cavaliers at some point before Midnight Madness in October, multiple sources have told CBSSports.com.
Posted on: June 15, 2010 12:07 am
Edited on: June 15, 2010 8:08 am
So that's it?
Boise State to the Mountain West, Colorado to the Pac-10, and Nebraska to the Big Ten is all we get in what has been described, over and over again throughout the past week, as college athletics' most unstable time in decades? No super conferences? No loss of a conference? If this is really all we get -- plus Utah to the Pac-10, which at the moment seems like the only logical move for commissioner Larry Scott, who wanted a 16-school league but will probably have to settle for Utah making his league a 12-school league -- then color me disappointed, because when this fuse was lit I prepared for the biggest of bangs. Instead, the national landscape hasn't really changed much, and it doesn't look like it will in the immediate future.
It was a bomb scare with no bomb.
It was a tornado watch with no twister.
The recap looks like this: The Big Ten improved with Nebraska. The Pac-10 will be enhanced with Colorado and, presumably, Utah. The Big 12 lost two schools and took a hit, but probably feels great considering how close it was to dissolving. And the Mountain West improved with the addition of Boise State, but could soon be damaged by the loss of Utah, which would then owe Texas a huge smooth.
Isn't that wild?
UT's decision to reject the Pac-10 will likely turn Utah into a "BCS" school.
All together now, Utah fans: Hook'em Horns!
(Note to Utah fans: If you see Vince Young in a strip club, do not fight him.He is your friend. You owe his alma mater.)
Seriously, almost from the start, it was clear Texas was the major player in all this, and that the Longhorns had the power to turn the Pac-10 into the Pac-16 and kill the Big 12, or hold much of the Big 12 together and in the process slow the move toward super conferences, if only temporarily. Ultimately, Texas decided to go with the latter. So now the Big 12 has 10 football-playing schools, the Pac-10 has 11, and the Big Ten has 12.
And nobody has 16.
That's the key.
Massive realignment now seems unlikely this summer.
The fuse was lit.
But Texas turned an expected bang into a minor dud by resisting the urge to go west.