From Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star (emphasis added throughout)
Colorado brings little to the Pac-10. No baseball, no softball, no swimming, a basketball team that averaged 6,267 fans and almost no new money.
Utah would bring even less. The Utes wouldn't help to solve the raging financial crisis at Oregon State, Wazzu and ASU.
We take it on good faith that Scott has more to his expansion tour/marketing outreach than Colorado and Utah. We take it that the presidents and chancellors of the Pac-10 didn't give Scott all of that power merely to add teams with less presence than Oregon State.
The Pac-10 can use a bump in glamour, and especially one at the bank, but I don't see how Colorado or Utah can help either. I'm aware of the negative variables and politics about adding BYU, but the Cougars have a history, a brand and a presence that neither Utah nor Colorado can touch.
I guess Hansen gives us hints on which schools must be really getting antsy for expansion dollars. As for BYU, adding them has always been a nonstarter which we have discussed ad nausea here on BN.
Going back to the idea of Pac-10 must add Utah immediately, Greg expands on how adding Utah will not do much in terms of the leverage Pac-10 is going to have while negotiating a new TV K:
If Colorado is vanilla ice cream, Utah is snow melting on the sidewalk.
Adding Colorado, and possibly Utah, puts the Pac-10 in a neutral negotiating position with more partners in the split. When Scott goes to market next year, the TV people at ABC, ESPN and Fox Sports Net next year will see what they've always seen. Colorado and maybe Utah won't generate more money.
I appreciate the "partial" argument DC Bruins and are advancing on behalf of the Utes but I still don't find them persuasive. Right now the linchpin behind adding Utah is the rush to get a conference championship game. It is not clear at all whether a conference championship game will be viable for our conference given the track record the teams in this conference have with traveling fans.
What essentially happened, with Texas' decision to stay in the Big 12, was the dissolution (however temporary) of the super-conference plan that would have forever altered the collegiate landscape. The Pac-10 would have expanded to 16 teams, adding Texas and Oklahoma and assorted other buckin' broncos, creating a preposterous landscape about as regional as the Western Hemisphere.
Make no mistake, that was Scott's plan. A number of Pac-10 schools were all for the big push, for it meant untold riches distributed from a brand-new conference television network. Well, tough break on that one, everybody. Live with it. Remember how you would have felt when those Great Plains schools started racking up all the conference titles. Take heart in the fact that Cal and Stanford won't be forever looking up at the Longhorns and Sooners - in a number of sports.
The worst of it, for Scott, is that the Pac-10 still made a ridiculous move. Adding Colorado was the initial piece of the puzzle, with the bigger boys soon to follow, except ... no. Now the Pac-10 is stuck with Colorado, and maybe Utah down the road, to make it an even 12 teams. Ludicrous. Nothing but a lot of extra travel, for no reason, in tough economic times. It was enough of a stretch to give the Arizona schools a "Pacific" label, and what happens in football now - you play all 11 teams, with no room for nonconference action?
Again there is not a lot of convincing arguments out there right now that Pac-10 immediately has to get into a shot-gun marriage with the Utah. If Larry Scott rushes into this only to come up with mixed results or inconclusive results in terms of betterment of the conference, while compromising long standing traditions and matchups, he will turn out to be as big of a failure as his predecessor who left us in the current stale state.