It’s official- Colorado is in the Pac-10

No surprises here, but it is now official: Colorado will be joining the Pac-10 conference. Everyone saw this coming a mile away for sure. The good news for the Big 12 is that this doesn’t take effect until 2012, so there is time to figure things out. Unfortunately for the Big 12, the rest of their conference will probably take off pretty soon. With this new development, what’s in store for the rest of the Big 12 and other conferences?

One thing is for sure- the ball is in the Big Ten’s court now. They may just invite Notre Dame and that would be the end of it. The Big 12 would pick up someone to replace Colorado and life goes on. But should Jim Delany do what Jim Delany should do, he will poach Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12 and still try for Notre Dame or Syracuse. Expand the conference to 14 teams and have the biggest reach of any conference network by far.

We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out, but here’s what I think. By making this move now, the Pac-10 is essentially telling Baylor to shove it. They can join the likes of Rice or TCU or any other private school in Texas. So now the real question is this- what does the Pac-11 do from here? You can’t have an 11 team conference, the Big Ten proved that well enough. You need one more for a conference championship. Who do you add?

There is still speculation they will get 5 more Big 12 schools. I’m not sure I’m still sold on this idea. The Big Ten and SEC make A LOT more money than the Pac-10. Why wouldn’t OU or Texas try to join one of those two conferences? Way bigger payday. And of course, where they go, the others will try and follow. So if they don’t go for the kill, they need just one more team. Really that can only be Utah. No one else fits geographically or athletically and academically. But is Utah even worth it? Will they go where BYU can’t follow? Would the Pac-10 say screw it and just get UNLV for the big Vegas market?

Here’s my guess: The Pac-10 will have to settle for UNLV. Utah simply won’t go. And here’s why. The Big Ten will take Nebraska and Missouri. They will also grab Notre Dame and Syracuse. This will force the SEC’s hand and they will add Texas and Texas A&M along with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. They want to be ahead of the curve. They want to be the best in football. This will make them the best, biggest and possibly most lucrative conference in college football. Simply move Alabama and Auburn to the east division. Now that would be a formidable conference.

This would easily make them more lucrative than the Big Ten I think. Then the MWC will get what they held out for: Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor and Texas Tech. They wanted the Big 12 scraps over Boise State, so it’s likely what they will get. But mark my words, you heard it here first- Texas, A&M, OU and Oklahoma State are probably eying the SEC over the Pac-10 at this point. More money and less travel.

What do you think will happen?