Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Pac-10 will likely split North-South
By ESPN.com staff
It appears increasingly likely that the Pac-10 will split into six-team North and South divisions once Utah and Colorado join the league.
While Pac-10 officials won't confirm this, it seems that Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn was promised a spot in the south division with USC, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Utah will become the sixth member and the Buffaloes' travel partner from the Mountain Time Zone.
Consider this from a Denver Post story this afternoon:
Playing in a south division instead of a north with the Bay Area, Oregon and Washington schools was a must for Colorado to accept an invitation. Its largest out-of-state alumni base is in southern California.
"That is a huge boost for us," Bohn said. "The southern division for the University of Colorado provides many opportunities that are keys to reaching our alumni to our recruiting and to enhance media exposure that connects best to the Denver market."
So it's fait accompli, unless Bohn is mistaken (and a source told the Pac-10 blog Tuesday that no other arrangement has traction with conference administrators).
There are then four remaining mysteries, other than what the conference will be called -- Pac-12 seems most logical.
- What will be the format of a conference championship game? Will it be played at a neutral site or on the home field of the No. 1 seed?
- When will Colorado and Utah join the conference? It seems there's growing momentum for both to join in 2011-12.
- Will Utah and Colorado add enough juice for the conference to start its own TV network?
- And, finally, when the new TV and media contracts are signed, how much will the per team revenue increase? Can the conference even approach the $17 to $22 million distributed by the SEC and Big Ten?