Let's get real, conference realignment has taught us two things:
- Mass media may be getting out of control. If reports that "Texas to the Pac-10 is imminent" and "Texas is remaining in Big-12" can come out simultaneously, news begins to sound like a guessing game. That's no bueno.
- College sports may be more money driven than any of us ever imagined. The fact that un-nameable contributors made phone calls and visits to keep the Big-12 together is both frightening and discouraging that the college games we love because "it's about winning and school pride, not contracts and paydays" likely doesn't exist. Did you hear about FedEx's supposed $10 mil offer to invite Memphis into any BCS Conference. Sheesh.
As college sports enthusiasts, I think we're a bit naive and also choose to turn a blind eye to the foul play unfolding right before our eyes. Or is that just Mike Garrett?
Anyhow, how to salvage an embarrassed Pac-10. First of all, the Big-12 Lite is making it very clear that its two defects, Nebraska and Colorado, contributed less than their financial load to the conference. Basically, this makes the Pac-10 look silly for taking anything that would say yes. But let's be serious, we've all been there before, right? We digress. Because conference realignment point #2 taught us that college sports is really just money hungry, we must focus on how to make money.
Blah, blah, the Pac-10 is an academic juggernaut and Utah indeed meets those credentials. So what hurdle is there? They have better athletics than Washington State and it opens things to a new market. And, perhaps most importantly, adding Utah gets the Pac to the requisite twelve teams for a conference title game in football. Your big money maker. Doesn't that sound nice Larry Scott?
So traditionalists can still get most of their favorite aspects of the Pac-10 (home-and-aways, geographic partners) and the real NCAA can make its coin. As fans, we can hope Scott gets more creative than signing with Fox Sports.
Sound good? Works by me. And the Pac-10 can actually encompass the Pacific Coast. Kinda makes sense, too.
But as most things go in college sports, we're all just gonna have to wait and see.