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Jenni Carlson: Would Big 12 take back Colorado?

Former UCLA chancellor urges Pac-10 to block Buffaloes
by Jenni Carlson Modified: August 25, 2010 at 11:02 am •  Published: August 23, 2010

Editor's note: To clarify, the Pac-10 chancellors and presidents voted to expand the conference and extended formal invitations to Colorado and Utah. The only votes of the university leaders that remain involve issues such as scheduling and divisional structures.

The Big 12 Conference might end up with more than 10 teams once this conference realignment business is over after all.

Welcome to the league ...

Drum roll, please ...

Colorado.

Truth be told, I'm not sure how many folks in the Big 12 would welcome back the Buffs, but apparently, not everyone in the Pac-10 is rolling out the red carpet for them, either.

Former UCLA chancellor Chuck Young is leading the opposition of adding Colorado and Utah to the league. He is sending e-mails to the conference's chancellors and presidents. He is urging them to block the expansion.

Those university leaders have extended a formal invitation to Colorado and Utah to join the Pac-10, and both schools signed an agreement to join, Utah in 2011 and Colorado in 2012. The only issues that the chancellors and presidents have yet to agree to are related to scheduling and possible divisional structures.

Now, you have to think that all is going ahead as agreed to and planned. Then again, is anything really a for sure when it comes to conference realignment?

Colorado was supposed to be part of a package deal. It was initially invited to the Pac-10 along with Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Even thought it wasn't on par athletically with those other schools — Colorado has become a cellar dweller in just about every sport except cross country and skiing — it was perfect geographically. Colorado has long been an outpost on the Big 12 trail, and because the Buffs have long recruited on the West Coast, their inclusion in a Big 12/Pac-10 merger made sense.

Then, folks from Baylor started to press their Lone Star State brethren.

"Let us come with you," they pleaded.

Meetings were planned. Calls were made.

Colorado panicked.

So did the Pac-10.

The conference didn't want Baylor, and Colorado didn't want to be left out. Moving to the Pac-10 had long been the school's hope. Worried that Texas politics might leave it on the outside, Colorado accepted the Pac-10's invite.

No doubt the conference encouraged the Buffs to do so. But the thing is, the Pac-10 always expected the other Big 12 schools to follow.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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