Pac-10 Messes With Texas, Gets Denver Omelette With Side of Salt Lake City Instead

Hey, here's a statement that will shock your delicate sporting sensibilities: the people who run college football like money. It's the reason they make most of the decisions they make. And it was the biggest reason why the University of Texas was considering a move to the Pac-10. Something that, sadly, doesn't seem to be happening anymore.

It's hard to get mad at the Pac-10 because , well, what is it exactly? Is it commissioner Larry Scott, who aimed for the moon -- Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State -- only to end up in whatever lesser constellation holds Colorado and Utah?

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You broke our hearts, Larry.
Sure! Let's go with that. Because Scott is a person, rather than a large, faceless entity who we -- the people who never had access to all the high-level meetings where actual decisions were made -- can ridicule from a safe distance.

What I'm trying to say is, no one is really at fault for the Pac-10 failing to become a superconference. But it was Scott's ambition that made this delicious, 16-team fantasy a possibility. He built the ship, so now he goes down with it.

Had Scott managed to lure the Longhorns -- and the younger brothers it was babysitting the night of the party -- the Pac-10 would have been on the receiving end of the most delicious three words in college sports: new media markets.

Houston (eighth biggest in the country) and Dallas (Mmmmmmmm, fourth biggest) would have been the real hauls in this deal. Sure it would have been nice to host the Longhorns' cattle call every four years or so. But the real trophies were all the new eyes Scott would have been able to use as leverage for a new TV deal.

Denver and Salt Lake City, as far as consolation prizes go, are nothing to sniff at. And the Utes have built one hell of an entertaining program. Scott's dream may not have turned into a nightmare, but that doesn't mean it's any easier to wake up from.

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