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On Friday, the much-discussed idea of moving the University of Colorado into the Pac-10 Conference nearly came to a head, with university officials saying an invitation to compete in the potential super-conference would be fast approaching.
The most widely discussed expansion plan has the Pac-10 taking on six new teams (CU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State), with the new 16-team athletic conference able to negotiate a major TV deal. The Denver Post notes that Pac-10 leadership was given the go-ahead to pursue expansion plans, but the conference isn’t saying what will happen next.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott told reporters, “You’ve read an awful lot about different ideas. We probably have contemplated or are contemplating everything you’ve read about.”
But the state of Texas is apparently readying a battle to keep CU out of the expansion. ESPN Dallas reports that the Texas legislature would pressure the Pac-10 to include Baylor over CU so that the big Texas schools won’t be separated going forward. The Texas legislature was successful in pushing Baylor over TCU when the Big 12 was formed.
“Do you think we’re going to allow a school from outside the state of Texas to replace one of our schools in the Big 12 South?” one legislator has said (via the Post). “I don’t think so. We’re already at work on this.”
The battle could get nasty, as $20 million is reportedly on the line for each of the possible new Pac-10 schools. Whatever happens, it won’t have any impact on play anytime soon. If the Pac-10 does expand, it likely won’t take effect until the 2012-13 season.