Texas To the Pac-12?

When Texas played UCLA on Saturday, the game might have represented a preview of a future conference matchup for the Longhorns.

LonghornDigest.com sources have confirmed an Austin American Statesman report that has the Longhorns looking to join with fellow Big 12 teams Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in the Pac-12.

Several details are still pending, but the most important ones — including the structure of the conference and the Longhorns' ability to keep their Longhorn Network — have been discussed.

First, the structure. According to the report, the 16-team conference — remember, the Pac-10 added Utah and Colorado a year ago — would be divided into four, four-team pods. The four current Big 12 teams would make up one of those four pods.

Each team would play the rest of the teams from its pod, meaning that Texas would have annual matchups with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Each team would then play two games apiece against teams in the other three pods, making up a nine-game conference schedule.

As of now, the two teams with the best overall conference records would then meet in the title game, an important distinction in that two teams from the same pod could meet in the finale if they had the same records.

So while one of either Texas or Oklahoma has played in the Big 12 title game every year since 1998, both would be eligible to meet a second time in the Pac-16 title game if they had the best records.

Of course, the Longhorn Network has often been the elephant in the room, and it appears there might be a solution there as well. According to the Statesman report, the Longhorns would keep revenue from the network if the amount is greater than one-sixteenth of what the league earns for its third-tier rights. But if the one-sixteenth is the larger number, the schools would divide the revenue equally.

It's important to note that nothing has been approved from a league or school perspective as of yet. But with the ACC adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse, Pac-12 conference commissioner Larry Scott would be able to add schools while claiming that he wasn't casting the first stone in realignment. In a process that has been built so much on gamesmanship and keeping a poker face, that tiny distinction could make all the difference.

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