After a failed attempt to create a 16 team super conference, PAC 10 Commissioner Larry Scott succeeded in adding two new teams to the conference, Colorado and Utah. They will begin conference play in 2011. Political forces in Texas staved off a possible move by Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the PAC 10. Looks like Texas gets to negotiate their own television deal, outside of the Big 12 contract. Sorry Longhorn fans, no trips to Sun Devil Stadium in the near future.
How will the new conference look and how will it affect ASU’s schedule? The conference has not released any plans, but many think the conference will end up with two divisions, and a possible PAC 12 Championship game. One possible conference alignment is a North/South split. The North would have Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, and Colorado. The South would have Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, ASU and U of A. This would leave the natural rivalries in place. It would also guarantee that ASU plays USC and UCLA every year. This is important as ASU draws heavily from the Southern California market for recruits. ASU would probably play the North teams on a rotational basis. This would occasionally bring Utah to Sun Devil Stadium for regular season games. With the strong Arizona – Utah ties, this should be well received.
If the divisions align as discussed above, I don’t see any negatives for Sun Devil fans. Obviously, the U of A game remains, and all the California teams will be played annually. The new TV contract should be stronger, and each school will benefit financially. As for rail-gating fans, the party continues on. Be sure to subscribe to the Raillife RSS feed to stay on top of the latest rail-gating news.