Editorial: Joining The Pac-10 Makes Sense

I'm sorry that nobody wants to admit it but Texas is the centrifugal force and the center of the Big 12 wheel. The Longhorns have the biggest television footprint and the most money, and in the modern game of collegiate athletics and the recent conference realignment rumor mill it is television markets and dollars that carry the most weight.

I know we are not supposed to recognize a writer or anybody on that other major college sports Internet network but Chip Brown is a former Dallas Morning News sportswriter that knows his way around the Big 12 and how to break a story, so congratulations to Chip for knocking down this one.

The first salvo of the day was actually fired in Kansas City at the Big 12 meetings when Missouri chancellor Dr. Brady J. Deaton confirmed that Missouri has neither solidarity for the Big 12 or a strong penchant to remain as a loyal member of the conference. Dr. Deaton actually made this feeling known on record to the media attending the Big 12 meetings.

Next came Brown's story citing multiple sources close to the situation that the Pac-10 (is that name soon going to be obsolete?) would soon invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Colorado to join its league. The Pac-10 administrators are starting their meetings this weekend in San Francisco.

Congratulations to the Pac-10 for not sitting back and letting their Rose Bowl rival in the Big Ten dictate the future of so many schools and conferences. This is a proactive move, something Dan Beebe and the Big 12 either didn't understand or didn't have the gumption to try.

It also makes perfect sense as it would set the Pac-10 for the future of major college (football) and athletics. The general consensus is the move is toward four 16-school power football conferences. The Big Ten would take five schools, the SEC would grab four (likely from the ACC), and then a fourth conference would grow out of the remnants of the rest. It is a big supposition but that is what everybody is doing.

This move fits Texas (and the five other Big 12 schools) for several reasons. First, the Pac-10 is more prestigious academically. Second, a move by Texas and any others to the SEC would create a monster league where the best teams might all be located in one conference. Third, the SEC is a wild west with regards to recruiting and operating by NCAA rules and Texas likely would want that, or to open up wide the state of Texas to SEC schools for recruiting.

The Longhorns are large and in charge and the best move Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder may have ever made regarding Texas was offering (for standard price) the opportunity for Texas football to partake at the Cowboys training table the Friday before the two teams played in Stillwater the last two times they made the trip. Texas head coach Mack Brown was impressed and grateful for the offering and the food.

This new conference would bring together not only football powers and television sets on the West Coast and in Texas but also five of the top seven national championship programs overall in the NCAA. With UCLA (108) in first, Southern Cal (102) in second, Stanford (101) in third, Oklahoma State (49) fourth, and Texas (39) in seventh that makes a total of 399 NCAA Championships between those schools alone.

For Oklahoma State, if the invite comes, I would grab it. First, you have a home for the future. Now you are with a proactive conference that thinks aggressive. Sure there are going to be costs, especially travel costs would climb, but you won't get caught holding the bag or lacking a reservation to the future of big time athletics.

A quick reminder, this is what Boone Pickens and others paid for, OKlahoma State's ticket to stay with the upper crust of college football and college athletics.

Chip, you're a good reporter. If you got this one right and it comes out the way you reported it, then this is the breaking story of the year.

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