Yesterday I talked about the possibilities for expansion of the Pac-10.
Today, it was brought to my attention that there is a possible political obstacle to Utah joining the Pac-10: namely the Utah Board of Regents.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe the Pac-10 would love to have Utah join – the 31st biggest TV market in the country isn’t something to sneeze at.
However, the UBOR (the U Bore?) or the Governor of Utah might try to force a conference to take Utah AND BYU together, or at least force two Utah schools to move if one is offered (Utah/Utah State?).
If that happens, Utah will probably be off the table for expansion talks. And I wouldn’t blame the Pac-10 one bit – after all, what university president IN ANOTHER STATE wants to be told what to do by an ultra-conservative Utah Board of Regents?
Since expansion is driven by money, the next five biggest markets are:
- Denver (Colorado) #16
- San Diego (San Diego State) #28
- Las Vegas (UNLV) #42
- Albuquerque (New Mexico) #44
- Fresno (Fresno State) #55
Note that the numbers don’t count the suburbs of those areas. If you add Denver suburbs and San Diego suburbs, the numbers would increase dramatically.
Some media pundits are thinking that Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Houston, or SMU would be considered for the Pac-10. Think again, people. In no way will the rest of the Pac-10 allow Texas or Oklahoma to be added, and the travel costs – already high for Pullman, WA – will not decrease for a trip to St. Louis or Houston.
That means then the next two under consideration, aside from Colorado, would be SDSU and UNLV.
I’ve said many times already, SDSU is probably going to sneak in if a Utah/Colorado pairing doesn’t take place. You don’t just ignore the 28th largest market in the country, especially in your own bleepin’ backyard. A SDSU/UNLV pairing would net an estimated minimum 2 million extra households, so that’s nothing to sneeze at – and realistically, with all the San Diego suburbs, you’re really looking at an increase of around 4 million households, easily. That’s huge.
One last tidbit – what about Air Force to the Pac-10 with Utah? Academics are sound, you know they have a VERY good following, and they are pretty competitive in most sports. And they already play Utah every season as a member of the MWC. Interesting thinking that.
The best comment I’ve read today comes from hansbroughs_motor:
Oh, and there’s zero chance that the Pac-10 takes Boise State. It’s basically Fresno State North-if the Pac-10 wanted that kind of company, it could just add Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton.