Please forgive us this sporting indulgence as this impending train wreck, as the metaphor suggests, is simultaneously horrifying and captivating. Our original post on this subject can be found, here.
And the first domino to fall is.... Colorado?
The Pac-10 announced Thursday that the University of Colorado has agreed to leave the Big 12 to join its conference.
"This is an historic moment for the conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth," commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
"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."
Colorado's president said his school was a "perfect match" for the Pac-10.
That last statement by Scott is telling because Colorado (currently a member of the Big 12 North) is only a "perfect match" for the Pac-10 if the Big 12 South (Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. sans Baylor) go to the Pac 10 as well, as has been suspected.
What this tells us then is the question as to whether Baylor would be a sticking point to Texas and the others going to the Pac 10 has been resolved. There was the thought that the Texas schools would all stick together and refuse to go to the Pac 10 if Baylor, the weak sister, was left behind. Obviously, Denver's T.V. market spoke louder than state loyalty in Austin and so Baylor is the odd man out.
So, college football Armageddon is on. Expect, in short order, for Texas, Oklahoma and the others to announce their split with the Big 12 to join the Pac 10 and Nebraska (Big 12 North) to announce its own split with the Big 12 in order to join the Big 10. This now gives the numerically challenged Big 10, 12 teams and qualifies them for a conference championship game.
Where it goes from there is any body's guess. If the Big 12 wishes to expand further they may make an offer to Rutgers to tap into the New York market. If the dominoes keep falling, Notre Dame, which has long treasured its independence, not to mention its exclusive deal with NBC, may finally have to take the conference plunge and join the Big 10 which has had a standing invite extended to the Irish for years.
With Colorado's move today, the process has been set in motion for ultimately 4 or 5 super conferences that will pave the way for a true playoff system but destroy conferences like the Big 12 and possibly the Big East while simply rendering irrelevant conferences like the MAC and the WAC (Boise St. and Fresno St.)
To that end, we're very interested to see what happens to the Mountain West Conference which has represented quite well recently (Utah, TCU and BYU) but has not yet achieved the status and cache' of a BCS conference. Their decision to not pursue Boise St. earlier this week may come back to haunt them.