Expansion Rumors and USC penalty news

Rumor of USC’s penalties are on the lose as well as just more overlook of the situation and what could take place. There has not been an official announcement but expect one later this month as it is rumored it is not if but how sever the punishment should be. Plus The Big 12 is in serious danger of losing Texas and Texas A&M. They are also in serious danger of losing Colorado and Missouri. The Pac 10 and the Big 10 have declared war basically and the Big 12 needs to stand up and fight or prepare to be decimated.

After reading articles on Bleacher Report and ESPN:


Missouri to the Big 10 really does not make a whole lot of sense (even though I argued for it in my debut post) because the size of the market and the amount of money the school has. The Big 10 already has the St. Louis market as well as sizeable amounts of North Missouri with its current members of Illinois, Iowa, and Northwestern. The SEC would benefit from them (not that we want them) because we would be adding 6 million viewers and two huge TV markets of St Louis and Kansas City. The Big 10 does not need them but they are on the list and are a serious candidate.


Texas has said they have not spoken to the Big 10. However Rumors have significantly picked up about the Pac 10 going after both Texas and Texas A&M. Lets review what that would do the Pac 10:

  • Another Marquee Rivalry
  • You get to set up a yearly Texas vs Oklahoma game like USC-ND
  • Two top notch research institutions to add to the academic integrity
  • You’d bring in one of the nation’s best college towns (Austin) and one of the best game-day atmospheres (Kyle Field at A&M).
  • A perennial National Title contender in Texas
  • USC vs Texas game yearly on TV
  • Texas and more Midwest recruiting

And thats not even getting started on finances. Texas is also meeting with Boise State to try to get more creative on offense which would draw more people into watching their program.


Colorado to the Pac 10 is also an option being explored if Utah goes. BYU would be the logical choice but BYU doesn’t play sports on Sunday and the Pac 10 plays a lot of Sports on Sunday. Colorado would add the Denver TV market as well as the surrounding area which void of big cities. Colorado also holds liberal views similar to the other Pac 10 institutions. The Buffaloes did $250M of research in 2006, are a US News Tier 1 National University, are a state flagship, and are one of the 60 US members of the AAU.  So, academically they hit all of the Pac-10’s desires.

Colorado would be a much stronger football program in the Pac-10 because the schools in Colorado would be a hotbed for California recruits. The idea of playing football near skiing areas is a lot more attractive to Californians than it is to most Texans, who just see it as a cold place. With much better recruiting there is a good shot Colorado would regularly be a lot better team.

No offense to the Utes, but the second part of the Colorado rumors (adding Utah to the Pac-10) makes little sense. Utah does a fair amount of research too ($248M in 2006), but per US News they are the eighth worst school in their Tier 1 national category. They are 127th out of the 133 schools that made Tier 1 and only eight slots from being ranked a Tier 3 university by that periodical. That is not nearly as impressive as Colorado, UT, or A&M — the other candidates mentioned as being considered for the Pac-10 over the last 2 decades.

Additionally, I don’t totally buy that Utah will ever have Cal’s vote. The Utah-based Latter Day Saints Chuch’s incursion into California politics to deny gay people the right to marry in the last election is deeply resented by liberals in the state and Berkley is the probably the most liberal major campus in the US. This is just another reason BYU will likely never get into the Pac-10.  Utah may be the victim of friendly fire (depending on your perspective) in that regard.

Plus it is not like the University of Utah is an SEC caliber football draw that pulls 80-90,000 people per game. Utah is not like those SEC schools where the fevered nature of their fans can outweigh a relatively small population base in the view of TV execs. Utah averaged 42,000 per game last year. BYU does get Mississippi and Arkansas size crowds but still not UT, UGA, UF, UA size crowds. So no Utah and BYU probably will not happen.

So what to do?

The loss of Colorado and Missouri would send a message to Texans that the days of the Big 12 as a power player are over. When that occurs you can forget about the Texas legislature reigning in UT or A&M to force them to stay in the Big 12.  It won’t happen but several really bad things could occur for the Big 12.

UT could join the Big Ten as it’s 13th school with Missouri acting effectively as a bridge.  From there the Big Ten might wait for Notre Dame or add Rutgers to get a platform to push their name programs’ popularity into the NYC media markets as the Big East once effectively did with Miami. A&M and OU could approach the SEC and sneak away overnight.

Recall A&M never wanted to be in the Big 12 in the first place and has long  coveted a spot in the SEC, out from under Texas’s shadow. In fact at one point LSU was ready to sponsor them for admission. OU is certainly not going to sit on it’s hands while UT’s TV revenue goes up to at least $25 million per year. Far better to get a $16 million SEC payout than a $6-7 million one in the former Big 12. If they headed to the SEC, that would kick the door wide open to Texas recruiting for SEC schools, hurting all of the Big 12 membership’s efforts to stay competitive.

Things Look grim. If the two Texas schools leave (either both to the Pac 10 or one to SEC or one to Big 10) then the loss would be irreplaceable. Texas can’t leave though without getting into trouble with the Texas government for screwing over the other Texas schools. They first need Missouri or Colorado to leave to make the Big 12 look unattractive.

So yes the Big 12 has a lot on its hands. Chances are non of this will happen but if it does the  Big 12 could be the one to die Not the Big East.


  • One official directly connected to the investigation was directly quoted as saying that the only matter for discussion at this point is the severity of the sanctions.  It is all but assured that the Trojans will at least lose a significant number of scholarships and bowl eligibility for as many as two years, and will not be appearing on television.
  • This is part of what is rapidly becoming the norm in college football; two of the last four BCS championship game participants have all been on some form of probation.  It’s an issue that desperately needs to be addressed. USC may very well pay the price for the trend, as the NCAA will in all likelihood look to set an example of the Trojans, leveling some rather harsh penalties and probation.  It isn’t as if we didn’t see it coming; Pete Carroll jumping ship the way he did pretty well tipped us all off.
  • The cart with the 7 boxes and 2 folders of USC’s response to the allegations are rumored to have been just off the wall things that can’t prove wrong the proof the NCAA has collected the past several years.
  • NCAA comes up hardest in two violations. Academic Fraud which USC is not guilty of. And paying a player which it has proof of in basketball and if todd mcnair did know then its possible could be slammed for in Football.
  • Rumor has it that the NCAA is tired of the long list of FSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Alabama, etc all coming up with this major violations and its rumored they are going to make an example out of USC now.

Look for a strong verdict by the end of this month.


About Steven Harris

Steven Harris is a fifth year senior at the University of Tennessee. Majoring in sports journalism, this blog provides an outlet for Harris to share his thoughts on the state of the University of Tennessee's athletic department''s Volunteer teams. View all posts by Steven Harris

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