pac 10 conference.jpg
Logos like this have a half-life of two decades or so. It's just the way it is.
Something huge is about to happen in the

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Pac-10 Expansion May Not Happen, But It Won't Be Because of a Name

pac 10 conference.jpg
Logos like this have a half-life of two decades or so. It's just the way it is.
Something huge is about to happen in the Pac-10. The conference's football destiny may have changed forever this past weekend, when the biggest buzzards in the college game swooped in on the Big 12's carcass.

This is the Swiss watch of sports' stories. The roll-call of self-interested parties could double as a state dinner guest list: the Texas Legislature, media honchos at ESPN and the commissioners of every major conference, who are each trying to maneuver their rafts into calm waters lest they get upended in the flood.

Rafting and wristwatch metaphors aside, there is obviously a lot at stake when it comes to the potential realignment of six, maybe even as many as a dozen, college football teams. But of all the pitfalls that could prevent Pac-10 expansion, semantics is not one of them.

Some conference diehards have suggested that the deal could go South, because by expanding to include non-coastal teams like Texas and Colorado the Pac-10's name would no longer make any sense. This is bunk.

Since Penn State joined in 1990 the Big-10 has actually been 11. Conference expansion is a money grab. And an immensely profitable one at that.

Renegotiating a TV contract with six new teams -- and the potential of a flashy new championship game at the Rose Bowl or Texas Stadium -- could mean an extra $20 million for athletic team budgets of every Pac-10 school.

Even if the Longhorns demand the conference be renamed "Austin Amalgamated Tire & Auto," no cash-hungry program is going to blink, given how much loot they stand to gain.

 
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