SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The University of Utah to the PAC 10? BYU to the Big 12?? It could happen.
This is all speculation...but sources are telling ABC 4 Sports that Utah will be invited to join the PAC 10 conference, but not BYU. The Cougars could wind up in the Big 12...or staying put in the MWC.
Several dominoes have to fall first, but here's how it could all play out...
The Big 10 wants to expand to a 12 team league..giving them a conference championship game in football, like the SEC and Big 12. Pittsburgh could be asked to join the Big 10..or possibly Rutgers.
The PAC 10 would then follow suit, and it would need to invite 2 schools, and it could be Utah and Colorado.
BYU would not be invited, primarily because they don't play on Sunday...and the PAC 10 has a lot of Sunday games. Officially, the PAC 10 would say Utah is a better fit, because it's a research institution and has a medical school, like most of the other PAC 10 schools...and BYU does not.
Again, this is all speculation, but the PAC 10 TV deal is about to expire, and a new TV partner would want the league to have a football championship game, which requires the league to have 12 teams.
According to Mercurynews.com reporter Jon Wilner's blog
, PAC 10 commissioner Larry Scott said today, "We're looking at it very seriously. If we were ever going to look at expansion, this would be the logical time."
Utah and Colorado would be good fits for the PAC 10, giving the league exposure in 2 new, top 35 markets.
Utah would make that jump for several reasons, the 2 biggest being it would get them into a BCS conference, and it would be a huge boost for recruiting.
As for BYU, the Cougars could stay in the MWC, or accept an invitation to the Big 12 to fill Colorado's spot, although the Big 12 also has some Sunday competition.
If a team was to leave a conference, they would have to give a 1 year notice, so if a school was invited to join a new conference by June of 2010, it would play the 2010--2011 season in the old conference, then begin play in the new conference in the fall of 2011.
And again, if this happened, there would be more dominoes to fall. Would Boise State join the MWC...would Utah State be asked to join??? Would the MWC fall apart without Utah and BYU? It's all speculation, but once the dominos start falling, it could be very interesting.