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Larry Scott listening to schools interested in Pac-12

Larry Scott

I have to say this: it sure would be nice to sit down and actually watch and enjoy the first full weekend of college football.  Instead, there are additional signs pointing toward a thermonuclear version of conference apocalypse that simply can’t go unmentioned.

In the latest and most significant development, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott acknowledged that he has fielded calls from unnamed schools — one rhymes with “Schmoklahoma” — that have expressed an interest in joining his conference.  One thing Scott’s making perfectly clear, however, is he’s the one on the receiving end of phone calls from interested parties, not the other way around.

I will say schools have reached out to us,” Scott told reporters before the start of the LSU-Oregon game. “We are not doing anything proactively… schools have called us. We certainly are going to listen. …

“If there is any suggestion whatsoever that our conference is being predatory that’s just wrong. We’ve not had expansion as an initiative, as an agenda, for us at all. If there were any conversations going on, you can be sure there are not any we initiated.”

Earlier today, the Daily Oklahoman reported that Oklahoma’s sole focus is now on the Pac-12.  If the speculation comes to fruition, OU would make the first move to the Pac-12, causing a ripple effect that would bring Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech along with them, leaving the Big 12 with five schools and almost no shot at survival — especially after the Big Ten grabs Missouri as part of a counteroffensive to the Pac-12 morphing into the Pac-16.  And then Jim Delany reaches into the Big East before convincing Notre Dame to shed its football independence to get to 16 members.  And then the SEC responds as well, getting to 16 by swallowing up three schools from the ACC, forcing that conference and some of what’s left of the Big East and Big 12 to merge.

Such developments — well, maybe not those specific developments — would come as no surprise to Scott.

“I’ve also been clear,” Scott said, “that there will probably be further expansion at some stage.”

Of course, at one point last year Scott, after flying to a handful of Big 12 cities, thought he had the OU-UT-OSU-TT quartet all but signed, sealed and delivered before the then just-a-dream Longhorn Network played a significant role in scuttling those grandiose expansion dreams.  This time, the LHN isn’t expected to pose an obstacle to adding Texas.  Rather, this time it appears as if it’ll be up to the school in Norman to (mercifully) put the final bullet in the head of the Big 12.

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12 Responses to “Larry Scott listening to schools interested in Pac-12”
  1. raiderredleg says: Sep 3, 2011 10:06 PM

    Between all the talk of the demise of the Big 12 and all those ugly, Nike/Oregon inspired “new wave” uniforms everyone seems to be wearing this has sure been a depressing start to CFB this season.

  2. utahcoach says: Sep 3, 2011 10:13 PM

    Isn’t this getting a little out of control. Soon we will have 2 or 3 giant conferences

  3. robertallen says: Sep 3, 2011 10:15 PM

    Conference Carousel…seems like every year we’re going to see teams change conferences just as often as head coaches.

  4. wordonthequad says: Sep 3, 2011 10:16 PM

    I simply don’t get it. I’m sorry.

  5. sunsation3413 says: Sep 3, 2011 10:28 PM

    They are trying to make super conferences so they can have a playoff system.

  6. paulbrownsrevenge says: Sep 4, 2011 1:06 AM

    OU, ok state, Texas Tech and boise state to the pac 16.

    Missouri, Kansas, K state, and iowa state to the big10-16.

    Texas A&M, west virginia, Clemson, and Georgia Tech to the SEC.

    Pitt, syracuse, cincinnati, uconn, USF, and rutgers to the ACC.

    Texas can be independent. Enjoy being overhyped like Notre Dame.

  7. TxGrown says: Sep 4, 2011 1:15 AM

    paulbrownsrevenge says:
    Clemson, and Georgia Tech to the SEC.
    That will never happen.

  8. cp4ab0lishm3nt says: Sep 4, 2011 4:35 AM

    Super conferences will evolve eventually for the better good of the NCAA administration. This is especially important if college football wants to have a proper playoff system. So if PAC 12 is to expand to PAC 16 then this is to be a good thing not only for fans, for universities, for alumni and for marketing. This will also be a more transparent system.

    College football should also channel all the (end of season) bowls into the playoffs and allow advertisers to advertise for each of the games. This will guarantee viewership and marketing endorsements. Thus far, the examples set by the NFL system seem to be wholly successful.

    College football should be semi-pro as well but allow athletes to develop their potential both in the classrooms and on the fields. Schools and universities should disallow agents but they should set their own parameters for having university’s football ambassadors, counselors and mentors to guide and recruit potential football athletes from high schools.

  9. rubbernilly says: Sep 4, 2011 10:10 AM

    Oklahoma has all the power in this situation, and they would be crazy not to use it.

    Yes, Texas has the luxury of knowing that they could probably survive as an independent, but OK has never had this much leverage. If they want to stay in the Big 12, they should negotiate a better package out of Texas. If, on the other hand, they want out, now is the time. The Big 12’s survival will hinge on whether OK stays or goes, not Texas.

    Yes, if Texas leaves the Big 12, the Big 12 will fall. But with all signs pointing to Texas wanting to stay in the B12 or to go independent, the question that needs to be answered is: will the B12 necessarily survive if Texas stays? And I think the answer is no. It won’t necessarily survive just because Texas stays. If OK decides to go to the PAC, the B12 will fold.

    If they take only OSU with them, the B12 is already gutted, and in danger of losing their AQ status based on the new teams they’ll have to add to stay afloat. That means that OK can force Texas’ hand… *if* they want to. Just send a letter to them saying, “We’re going to the PAC. If you want to maintain your rivalry with us, come with us, or go independent and we’ll schedule you each year.”

    The conference that I see in a tough spot over this is the Big Ten. They covet the Notre Dame get, but that means that they have to play a risky game of brinksmanship as the college world around them goes apocalyptic. Can they afford to hold a seat at the table (or 2 seats, to maintain a balance of divisions should ND not join them) for ND while the other conferences race to Superconference status?

    Let’s say the PAC gets the 4 teams mentioned (OK, OSU, TX, and TT), and the SEC adds 1 more team to balance A&M. That puts the PAC at 16 and the SEC at 14 and looking for 2 more. The Big 10 snatch up Missouri and add Rutgers to balance the divisional numbers. Now they’re at 14 and standing on the sidewalk below ND’s window, holding up their boombox and playing ballads.

    How long can they wait, though? With the SEC looking for two more, and the Big East/ACC looking to combine their numbers for viability… how long can the Big 10 hold that seat open for ND? Who would blink first? The Big 10 looking at being the only “SuperConference” with 14 rather than 16 teams and having only mid-majors available to them to add? Or ND, who has indicated that they would only sacrifice their football independence if they were backed into a corner?

  10. gatorb8 says: Sep 4, 2011 1:37 PM

    I don’t care what happens with the college football landscape, if Notre Dame want’s to sniff relevancy and a better than barely winning record, they need to join a conference. And maybe relax their standards to Lou Holtz era standards.

  11. editordon says: Sep 4, 2011 10:35 PM

    Missouri will join Texas A&M and head to the SEC.
    Kansas, KSU, Iowa St and Baylor will join an expanded Mountain West.

  12. critter69 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:16 PM

    Sorry, Mizzou fans, but you’ve tried to join the Big 10 for decades, and the Big 10 still hasn’t sent an invite.

    Notre Dame? The Big 10 has invited and been turned down, and ND has asked and been turned down, for close to a century now. But suddenly it’s a case of ‘in the next year or never’?

    During the ‘last round of expansion’, the Big 10 looked at, but didn’t invite, WVU. The Big 10 doesn’t look at the schools for just football, but scholastics FIRST, then research (probably tied with scholastics), then athletics. And it’s not the ADs who determine membership in the Big 10, but the Presidents, Chancellors (or other name used at any particular school), and they are not near as interested in having the biggest, richest, best football teams year in and year out, but at a long list of requirements.

    As to what other schools the Big 10 MIGHT look at for expansion? Rutgers, for access to NYC for ALL sports, academics and research; Navy and/or Maryland, for access to Baltimore and DC for ALL sports, academics and research; Louisville, for access to some of the South for ALL sports, academics and research; Kentucky (as a tweek to/at the SEC?), etc.

    Schools probably NOT on the Big 10 list? Tex-Ass probably heads it. There were rumors when I was growing up that Tex-Ass wanted to join, but no discussions ever occurred for two main reasons:

    1. The Big 10 has an unofficial rule that member schools MUST be in states contiguious to states with Big 10 members (this knocks OU and OSU out also); and

    2. The Big 10, as a conference that has been run for more than a century on a basis of consensus, has no interest in the “me first, me only” attitude of Tex-Ass.

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