Well, that happened fast. The Pac-10 has just officially announced that Colorado will join the conference.
Here is the official release:
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.–The Pacific-10 Conference announced today that the University of Colorado at Boulder has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as it’s 11th member, the first new member since July 1, 1978.
“This is an historic moment for the Conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth. The University of Colorado is a great fit for the Conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10,” said Commissioner Larry Scott.
“On behalf of The University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and fans, we are proud to accept this invitation from the Pac-10 and join the most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the nation, ” said Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor of CU-Boulder.
“The University of Colorado is a perfect match – academically and athletically – with the Pac-10,” said University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson, “our achievements and aspirations match those of the universities in the conference and we look forward to a productive relationship.”
Commissioner Scott, Chancellor DiStefano, President Benson, CU Board of Regents Chairman Steve Bosely and CU Athletics Director Mike Bohn and others will hold an official press conference on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11 a.m. MT at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo.
As the press release notes, this is the first addition to the conference since Arizona and Arizona State in 1978.
But this is just the first of what could be one more, or five more, teams coming.
What’s likely to happen now is either the other five Big 12 schools — Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — join and soon create a Pac-16. Or, if in what seems really unlikely now, the Big 12 stays together, then Colorado will be part of a two-team addition (Utah presumably the other), creating a Pac-12.
Obviously, the Pac-10 has gotten aggressive in trying to take advantage of the chaos elsewhere in college athletics, and with this news today has landed the first concrete strike.
Also being reported widely today is that the Pac-10 (or whatever it’s name is now) will push for two automatic bids into the BCS (assuming the 16-team model) and no conference championship game.
If that happened, that would mean basically that the winner of what is the old Pac-8 would get an automatic entry to the BCS, as would what would be most of the old Big 8, plus Arizona and Arizona State. Assuming one would go to the Rose Bowl.