June 3, 2010

Big Ten Expansion Doomsday Clock ticks to 8:54 p.m... Pacific Time

Well isn't this just a treat. For all the talk about the Big Ten, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and the SEC, we get a new rumor thread to floss with tonight. Rivals' Chip Brown reported this afternoon that the Pac 10--that's right, the PACIFIC TEN CONFERENCE--could end up jumping the gun on expansion:
"...it appears the Pac-10, which has its meetings in San Francisco starting this weekend, is prepared to make a bold move and invite Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Colorado to join its league, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has maintained that the Longhorns will do whatever it takes to remain the Jones' of college football.
Left out would be Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and Missouri."
It sounds so familiar. But this time it just feels different--scary, if you will. Brown's article continues:
"The six teams from the Big 12 would be in an eight-team division with Arizona and Arizona State. The other eight-team division would consist of USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State...

...An invitation from the Pac-10 will be hard for the six Big 12 schools being targeted not to consider. Why? Because Fox Cable Networks (a division of News Corporation), which serves as the chief operating partner of the successful Big Ten Network, appears ready to make the Big 16 Network happen.

Fox is the chief television partner of the Pac-10 currently, and its subsidiary Fox Sports Net currently holds the rights to the Big 12 cable package, which comes up for bid in the spring of 2011. The Pac-10 also has television deals with Fox up for re-bid at the same time."
The entire article is full of many more speculations and tantalizing ripple effects that could happen if this is all true.

This isn't some local radio station reporting something they heard from someone somewhere. This is a major sports media outlet, associated with even bigger media outlets like Sports Illustrated and Yahoo. We will eagerly await the fully-expected "I know nothing" from both Pac 10 and Big XII officials.

For now, though, this clock is ticking again. The time is now:


◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Clock History

DayChangeTime'Till MidnightReason
May 10011:4515 min.Initial setting of Big Ten Expansion “Doomsday” clock
May 10+1111:564 min.Sports Radio 810 WHB reports Big Ten has extended initial invitations to Nebraska, Missouri, Rutgers, and Notre Dame
May 11-311:537 min.Jim Delany enters full-scale denial mode about Sports Radio 810 WHB report
May 19-311:5010 min.Jim Delany, says expansion plans are still 12-18 months away
June 3+411:546 min.Rivals reports the Pac 10 will invite six Big XII teams

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