Back in December, discussions once again arose about the University of Colorado football program moving into a different conference—a notion that continues to gain steam. The Pac 10 would like to move up to 12 schools in order to have a championship game and, ultimately, make more money. The leading candidates to fill the roles are Utah and CU, currently a member of the Big 12.

The Denver Post’s Terry Frei doesn’t think CU should wait for the Pac 10 to come calling; rather, CU should lobby the conference and its schools to make the move itself.

Dave Krieger, Frei’s colleague at the Post, agrees, giving two reasons the Pac 10 is a better fit for CU. First, the academic standards in the Pac 10 are higher than the Big 12’s and more closely aligned with CU’s standards. That would lead to a more even playing field when it comes to recruiting better athletes. Joining the Pac 10 would also help CU recruit more effectively from the West Coast markets, an area where CU already has a strong foothold.

There would be a steep financial penalty if CU decides to ditch the Big 12 if the school doesn’t provide the conference with a two-year notice of the departure. Otherwise, CU would forfeit 50 percent of its conference earnings for those two years. According to the Post, CU is looking at the move purely in terms of money and being able to tap the large alumni base on the West Coast, and a decision is far from made.

ESPN thinks CU should consider another, more important reason for leaving the Big 12: attracting better coaching candidates. Embattled CU coach Dan Hawkins has been just short of a disaster in his four-year tenure as the school’s head coach, and most fans wanted him canned after a disastrous 3-9 season in 2009. We’ll soon see just how much fans still support the team: Boulder’s Daily Camera reports that the school is mailing out invitations for season-ticket holders to renew their commitments today.