BOULDER, CO - JUNE 11: A stadium sign is visible in Folsom Stadium sporting the University of Colorado and PAC-10's logos on June 11, 2010 in Boulder, Colorado. The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted unanimously to accept an invitation to join the PAC-10 Conference. The University of Colorado and PAC-10 officials held a press conference following the regents meeting to discuss the move. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)
At the recent westward-ho party where CU pledged allegiance to a new league, the university's power brokers were all smiles, belting out the school fight song and dreaming big, as when regent Michael Carrigan declared: "I look forward to the Buffs beating Nebraska in the Rose Bowl!"
At the same time, a stiff-lipped Hawkins stood like a wallflower at the back of the room and was ignored when CU big shots gathered for celebration photos. No one cares about his opinion regarding where the Buffs play in the future, Hawkins admitted.
Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins said Wednesday that the five Big 12 schools in danger of being left without a conference came up with a plan that included offering money to keep Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma in the league. Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, Baylor and Missouri drafted a "business plan" to persuade the bigger schools to reject any interest from the Pac-10 or Southeastern Conference, Perkins said. The idea was to make sure the three Big 12 South schools would not lose any money by sticking with the Big 12. "Five schools got together and we tried to develop a business plan like everything else," said Perkins, who did not disclose financial details of the offer. He said paying to remain aligned with Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M is no different from a school giving a pay raise to a coach who wins a national championship and gets other job offers.
There are then four remaining mysteries, other than what the conference will be called -- Pac-12 seems most logical. -What will be the format of a conference championship game? Will it be played at a neutral site or on the home field of the No. 1 seed? -When will Colorado and Utah join the conference? It seems there's growing momentum for both to join in 2011-12. -Will Utah and Colorado add enough juice for the conference to start its own TV network? -And, finally, when the new TV and media contracts are signed, how much will the per team revenue increase? Can the conference even approach the $17 to $22 million distributed by the SEC and Big Ten?
CU leads its football series with the Utes 30-24-3 and has played them more than any other nonconference opponent outside of Colorado State. Most of the time when they met during the 1940s, the Buffaloes and Utes were archrival members of the Mountain States Athletic Conference.
For now, the Big Ten has 12 schools and the Big 12 has 10. The Pacific-10 is at 11 and about to become 12 after Utah was invited Wednesday. Whatever the conferences stand for anymore, it’s not accuracy. And marketing experts say the names probably won’t change — at least for now. It has to do with the value of a brand. Each conference has built an identity, some for decades, and experts say that’s too valuable to just throw away
By my estimates, each school would have been in line to receive $15.5 million. It’s awfully hard to believe that the league cost itself $2 million (or more) per school per year. Scott and Weiberg are smart guys; they no doubt have an explanation … Or maybe, me being a schmoe sportswriter, my estimates and calculations are all wrong … Or there’s a piece to the revenue model that I’m not considering … But I’m curious to hear what Scott and/or Weiberg have to say on the matter.
The Big 12 should thrive in the future. Nebraska ought to do well in the Big Ten. And CU is looking ahead to a bright future out West. In the end, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. For CU, simply getting out from underneath the thumb of Texas is a win. Give Texas credit for saving the Big 12. In the end, Texas made the right choice and did what was best for Texas and other schools in the conference. But don’t think CU missed out by not sticking around. CU made the right move to get out, and the Buffs aren’t looking back.
Colorado University has already accepted its invitation to join the Pac-10 Conference, and by all indications the University of Utah will be accepting a similar invitation later today. Understanding this, I thought it would be interesting to look at the all-time records in basketball and football games played between the Buffaloes and the Utes against Pac-10 schools. I was surprised to discover that both Colorado and Utah have experienced tremendous success against Arizona in both football and basketball. Here’s what I uncovered by sifting through each university’s football and basketball media guides, and 2009-10 statistical resources:
Colorado and Nebraska: Both Colorado and Nebraska took the first train out of the Big 12 and were smarter for it. In the long run, they're both in better spots. Neither school has to deal with being in the forgotten Big 12 North division, and both schools have more competent conference commissioners (say it 10 times fast....do it) than they did a week ago. Congratulations on going from the insane asylum to the penthouse, CU and NU.
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