The University of Colorado has put an end to all the conference-switching speculation
by accepting an invitation to join the Pacific-10 Conference. After going back and forth for months on whether to leave the Big 12 and waiting to see what other schools would do, CU took the first step and set in motion a conference realignment with national implications.
"The once-mighty Big 12 appears to be crumbling amid the seismic shift in the college football landscape," writes the New York Daily News
. "The NCAA, as we know it today, could be the next to go."
Indeed, now that CU has taken the first step, the University of Nebraska is expected to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten Conference, and most of the major Texas schools, as well as the two big Oklahoma schools, could follow CU's lead (via The Denver Post
CU won't begin playing games as a Pac-10 team until the start of the 2012 season, but observers are already reacting to the news, with many looking forward to the Buffs playing games in new, predominantly West Coast cities.
Boulder's Daily Camera
cites several CU faculty sources who say the Pac-10 schools are more of a match academically, and CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano wants to explore establishing a faculty fellowship program between the schools, similar to one that currently exists within the Big 12.
The Colorado Daily
thinks the move could bring more business to Boulder-area restaurants and hotels, citing the high number of CU alumni in California who may be tempted to return and root for their team.
But not everybody is happy about CU's PAC-10 move. One San Francisco Chronicle
columnist says the change is indicative of a "soulless" game of money-chasing. He offers a harsh indictment of college athletics and a new motto for college sports: "The College Athletics Industry: We're Predator/Whores, And We're Not Even Bothering To Hide It Any More."