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Expansion Rumor Du Jour: PAC 10 Will Invite Half the Big XII to Join Their Conference

See! Water + Bevo = OMG PAC16!!!!!

According to Rivals Texas Longhorns site "Orangebloods", mutliple sources have informed beat writer Chip Brown that the PAC-10 will extend invitations to Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado. If this is true, and if the schools accept, it would turn the PAC-10 into the nation's first true College Athletics superconference. From Brown's article:

The thought is the Big 16 (or whatever they decide for the name) would start its own television network that could command premium subscriber dollars from cable providers on par with the Big Ten Network and pay out upwards of $20 million to each of the 16 schools in TV revenue.

Such a merger between the six Big 12 schools and the Pac-10 would build a conference with seven of the country's top 20 TV markets (Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento). And such a league would likely command attention from every cable system in the country and command a premium rate from every cable system west of the Mississippi.

 Wow. All this while I was working on a Big Ten Expansion piece about expanding westward.

In some ways this purported move by the Pac-10 makes sense. Texas previously flirted with the Pac-10 back in the 1980s and would be a good fit for the conference in just about every regard. Colorado's been flirting with the Pac-10 for over a year, and this type of expansion preserves a number of natural rivalries.

On the other hand, there's a lot of speculation involved here. Texas A&M is purported to be in discussions with the SEC. Texas reportedly would rather keep the Big XII together. And on top of that, there's no cable network already in place to manage this behemoth, only discussions with Fox to make one happen should the deal go through.

In a very obvious way this is a shot across the bow of the Big Ten by the Pac-10. Even though the Big Ten currently enjoys a position of power in the grand scheme of the expansion discussion, the very real threat of a Pac-10 superconference which would easily surpass the Big Ten in terms of populace, television households and revenues is something that has to grab Delany's attention.

If there's a smaller nugget to take away from all this it might be that Texas really isn't going anywhere. If Texas was complaining about travel times to Big Ten schools, I can't imagine that problem is going to be cured by joining a conference spanning three time zones. Further, Texas overriding concern appears to be Longhorns' desire to form their own cable network. Joining another conference isn't going to make that happen. The more I read, the less I think the Longhorns are in play.

It's all speculation at this point, but it sure is a fun way to pass the day.

(HT: SB Nation)