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Expansion zenith this week?


COUGARS

It looks like the next 48 hours will define the future of college athletics as we know it. Now that isn’t too apocalyptic, is it? But it just might be true. So where do we stand? We’re sure Colorado will join the Pac-10, Nebraska the Big Ten and Boise State the Mountain West. All that was decided late last week. And we know Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is making home visits, recruiting the likes of five-star schools like Texas and it’s buddy Texas Tech (a one-star). There were visits with Oklahoma (four stars) and Oklahoma State (two). If recalcitrant Texas A&M (three) decides to diss the conference, the backup plan seems to be Utah (I don’t think it has been given it any stars yet, but if USC decides it’s a good fit, some services will give it three). For more, read on.

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• A lot can happen in 48 hours (there was even a CBS show about it), but the past 48 weren’t all that exciting. About the only big news was Big 12 commissioner Don Beebe touting a keep-the-conference-together plan that features a pie-in-the-sky television proposal that would bring everyone in the conference $17 million a year and allow Texas to have it’s own television network. Which makes me wonder how such a jump can occur with two fewer schools, no championship game and the loss of football-mad Nebraska? If it’s true, shouldn’t Beebe be fired for being unable to get such a deal before, when there were still 12 schools in the conference? And if those numbers pan out, shouldn’t an expanded Pac-10, with much more lucrative TV markets, be able to bring a boatload more than that, like say another $6 million each? Maybe not. Math was never my forte. But it just seems hinky that such a huge number wasn’t mentioned before. As an aside, I have come up with my name for a 16-team Pac-10. Call it the Pacific and Central 16 conference, or PaC-16 for short (as Homer Simpson would say, “The C is for Texas”). Back to expansion. Though this is a day old, Bud Withers looked at the future for the schools in the state. … Scott, as we said, is on his recruiting tour. He’s expected to be in Kansas today, which might put some pressure on Texas A&M. … Remember these days: Tuesday, Texas and Texas Tech regents meet, Wednesday it is the Oklahoma schools’ turn. If nothing comes out of these meetings, the whole scenario might not come to fruition. … But there is a reason I think it will. Read this piece from Forbes magazine. It explains why the expansion would be such a financial windfall for the 16 schools, even more than they might think right now. If this financial scenario plays out, it would be tough for any college president to turn it down.

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• That’s all for now. Wait, let’s change gears for a moment. The WSU football coaching staff reportedly has a new graduate assistant. UPDATE: Got this clarified from WSU. He’s a student assistant. Big difference. … We’re headed to a golf tournament today, so we’ll be back tomorrow. Until then …


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