Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Will it be Pac-10, 11 or 12?
The L.A. Daily News had a front page story in its sports section today about the possible expansion of the Pacific 10. The story quoted conference officials who said the time is right for the league to grow if it is ever going to, along with references to other conferences doing the same thing, including the Big Ten.
If the Pac-10 were to expand what school(s) would be invited to join the western U.S.'s premiere conference? Obviously it would have to be a university, one with a solid football program. But it would also need to be proficient in most men's and women's sports.
Two universities immediately jump to the front of a short list: Boise State and San Diego State. Both schools have strong football teams, especially Boise State. San Diego State has solid basketball and baseball programs, and as a member of the Mountain West Conference, has formidable competition.
But Boise State may lose some appeal because of how it might compete against Pacific 10 teams in other sports. This isn't all about football. It's true that Eugene and Corvalis, both small college towns in Oregon field strong teams in most sports. But Oregon is a pretty state, even with all its rain, and would teenagers from the West Coast want to spend most of their school year in Boise, where the weather isn't always sunny.
Other schools that could be considered are Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a member of the Big West conference, UC Davis, which outside of California and UCLA, is the only UC campus that fields a football team. And there's also Nevada Las Vegas and Fresno State.
If the Pac-10 expands to 12 teams, one would think the conference would be split, six schools in a North Division and six in a South. The South would consist of UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and either San Diego State and Cal Poly SLO or UNLV.
The North Division would be made up of Stanford, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State, providing Boise State remains in the WAC.

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