Colorado will be first school added to Pac-10 since '78
The University of Colorado Buffaloes will leave the Big 12 and join the the Pac-10 conference.
The move may be the beginning of a stampede - as many as five other teams may switch.
A statement on the school and conference websites said the school would leave the Big 12. Although no date was mentioned in the release, it has been rumored the partnership would begin in 2012.
"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 Pac 10 Commissioner Larry Scott in the statement.
This is the Pac-10's first expansion since adding Arizona and Arizona State in 1978. More teams could follow Colorado from the Big 12 to the Pac-10. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could accept invitations soon. Nebraska has received an invitation to join the Big 10.
Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said he's aware his conference may be on its way to being gutted, but that he's committed to keeping it afloat, reports ESPN.com
"I continue to work through the process that was agreed upon last week by our Board of Directors to address membership issues, and are working tirelessly towards the long-term viability of the Big 12," he said.
If Colorado is the only team to join the Pac-10 from the Big 12, Utah could be added to even out the divisions in Pac-10.
Javier Morales writes on TucsonCitizen.com:
What will the division alignment be if the Pac-10 becomes the Pac-12?
Arizona, ASU, USC, UCLA, Utah and Colorado in one division? Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Wazzu in the other? That would make the most sense. Most Arizona fans would not mind this arrangement, because the Cats would continue to regularly play against coveted opponents USC and UCLA (coveted because of the fertile L.A. recruiting area and the thousands of UA alumni in that area).
The Boulder Daily Camera reports that the conference might be larger than 12 schools:
The new league will have at least 12 teams, and likely 16. Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are also still on the Pac-10's docket, and most observers believe those schools are also ready to make the move to West Coast-based conference. The expanded conference would likely debut in time for the 2012 football season.
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, at 11 a.m. MT at Folsom Field in Boulder.