COUGARS • UPDATED: 5 P.M.
The expected (inevitable?) has happened. The Pac-10 has invited Utah to join the party. The Utes will accept their invitation tomorrow. The Pac-10 will likely become the Pac-12 either next year or the year after. Now all that seems to be left is to iron out the details. We'll be back.
UPDATE: We had a conversation with WSU athletic director Bill Moos about the expansion, which we turned into a story. We also have more, so read on.
• In talking with Moos about the Utah invitation, it was obvious that the discussions concerning the makeup of the new Pac-12 are still their infancy. Though he believes commissioner Larry Scott and the conference staff will listen to the athletic directors' input, no one is sure what will be decided. I asked Moos if he had talked with his counterparts at UW, OSU and Oregon so that the Northwest schools could present a united front and he said the latest model, that is with only Colorado and Utah joining the conference, was so new, such discussions hadn't taken place. But Moos did have his favorite plan. He would like to see the four Northwest schools put in a division with Cal and Stanford, thus ensuring at least one football trip to California each year and two most years – if the conference keeps a nine-game schedule. ... Moos has no problem with just three non-conference football games. He said scheduling has gotten harder, with FCS schools demanding more money for appearance games. He still wants to push hard for home-and-home games with bigger name schools. ... I also asked Moos if he thought the Pac-12 was here for the long term or if it was just a breather until the conference could expand again. "I don't see in the immediate future much more activity," he said. "I wouldn't expect probably any from the Pac-10 especially with the Big 12 standing pat. Now, having said that, I did read where (Big Ten commissioner) Jim Delany said they are going to hold off for the next six to 12 months, and what does that mean? If they come back in and offer Missouri and approach Big 12 schools, it again might have affect on that conference. There are probably all kinds of different scenarios that could play out." ... As for the newest members of the Pac-10, Moos is pleased. "I like the way we are now," he said. "This is going to be a nice conference. Our two new members are super and fit our profile, both athletically and academically. I think it makes us just that much stronger as a conference."
• That's all for now. We'll be back as events warrant. Until then ...