Saturday, June 19, 2010

NCAA Conference Shuffle: Utah to be the 12th member of the Pac-10

Just when you thought it was over, the Pac-10 makes one more power move.

When the Big 12 actually remained in tact, much to everyone's surprise who was excepting the NCAA conference armageddon, the Pac-10 was the Pac-11. 11 is a difficult number to work with for a conference (see Big Ten until the addition of Nebraska), so the Pac-10 had to turn elsewhere. Elsewhere became the Utes.

The Pac-10 extended an invitation to Utah yesterday and they all but immediately accepted. With two undefeated seasons in the last six years and no opportunity to play in a title game, the Pac-10 is Utah's ticket to an automatic BCS bowl bid if they are so lucky to continue to play like they have been. They will join the conference for the 2011 season.

The Pac-10 (which may be called the Pac-12 in 2011) may be splitting the conference up into North and South divisions. One possibility would be having the North division include Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Cal and Stanford, while the South would consist of UCLA, USC, Arizona State, UA, and the two new-comers Colorado and Utah. The other option is having Colorado and Utah in the North and moving Cal and Stanford to the South.

It looks as if this will be the end of the conference shuffle for the summer, as Notre Dame is digging in its heels and the SEC wants nothing to do with anyone else. Even though this was not the realignment everyone had envisioned, I think it was definitely a step in the right direction for playoffs in the BCS post-season. It gives two new conferences the chance to separate into two divisions with a championship game, just as the ex-Big 12 had been doing and the SEC will continue to do. In a few years when another realignment epidemic strikes, I have no doubts it will merge conferences into super conferences and force the BCS's hand into post-season playoffs.

But for now, we'll settle for baby steps.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a message! xox