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Saturday, June 12, 2010
If A&M goes SEC, who gets Pac-10 invite?

By Richard Durrett

Just for the fun of it, let's say Texas A&M goes to the SEC (we discussed the merits of such a move on this blog post from Friday) and that leaves the Pac 10 needing one more team to become the Pac 16 (or whatever they want to call themselves).

Who gets the golden ticket? There are a few options. Let's take a look (in order of what we think):

1. Utah. The Utes are in the Salt Lake City television market, one that would certainly have some appeal in the Pac 10. They would bring the conference another strong football program and one that has also had some success in the past in basketball. Geographically, they make sense. (This is yet another reason why the MWC went out and got Boise State on Friday.)

2. Kansas. One of the most storied basketball programs in the country would be out of the immediate expansion if A&M goes to the Pac 10. But if they don't, the league might like the idea of adding such a strong basketball school to the conference. It would no doubt help the overall pedigree of the conference. (That's assuming Kansas and Kansas State aren't a package deal).

3. Missouri. Spurned by the Big 10, the Tigers will be looking around for a home. Rumors have circulated that some of the other current Big 12 schools aren't thrilled with them, but maybe that wouldn't matter to get the St. Louis television market. Again, from an expansion point of view, they work.

4. TCU. I've heard some folks mention this idea, but I'm not sure the Pac 10 needs the Frogs. If this is about media markets -- and for the most part it is -- the Pac 10 doesn't need TCU since it has the key Texas markets with the addition of its other teams. It would be fun to see the Frogs play some old Southwest Conference foes, but I can't think an invitation would be headed to Fort Worth.

5. Baylor. Again, a school on the outside looking in for now. There would certainly be a push from the state legislature to get Baylor in place of A&M should the Aggies go to the SEC. But that might not be enough. Certainly, the Pac 10 doesn't need Baylor (same reason as TCU). And if they decided to go another Texas school, TCU seems more attractive because of its football program.