The Pac-10’s plans to mega-expand to 16 teams imploded this week, and I’d say that’s cause for celebration.
It’s been sickening to watch the Pac-10 join what’s become an insane pursuit by conferences throughout the nation of television money at the expense of tradition and geographical reality.
Nothing says “Pacific” like Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
Thankfully, those teams turned down the Pac-10’s invitation, most likely because they figured they could make more money if they stuck together and saved the Big 12. There are few if any saints in this ongoing story.
The Pac-10 has already added Colorado, and there’s apparently a good chance it will add Utah. That would give them 12 teams, the minimum required to break into two divisions and hold a Pac-10 football championship game. And yes, that’s another decision driven by the pursuit of TV dollars. But at what cost?
The Pac-10’s oh-so-fair round-robin football format is dead. That format produced truly legitimate champions because every team played every other team each season. Now, some teams will have easier schedules than others and, most likely, one division will turn out to be easier than the other – which is one of the problems Big-12 football has faced.
You have to wonder when this mad scramble will end. Are conferences going to continually raid each other, year after year, and continually re-align?
Who knows? Maybe one day Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, North Carolina and Duke will be part of the Pac-24 Southeast.