by Ralph Routon
Forget about group announcements. The divorces among major-college athletic conferences apparently will be happening slowly, even one at a time.
This morning, after many media reports, the University of Colorado and the Pacific 10 Conference have confirmed that CU will be leaving the Big 12 and joining the Pac-10 (which will need a new name to reflect its total membership at some point.
Here's the news release just received from the Pac-10:
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO TO JOIN PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — The Pacific-10 Conference announced Thursday that the University of Colorado at Boulder has accepted an invitation to join the Conference as its 11th member, the league’s first new member since July 1, 1978.
“This is an historic moment for the Conference, as the Pac-10 is poised for tremendous growth,” said Commissioner Larry Scott. “The University of Colorado is a great fit for the Conference both academically and athletically and we are incredibly excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10.”
“On behalf of The University of Colorado students, faculty, alumni and fans, we are proud to accept this invitation from the Pac-10 and join the most prestigious academic and athletic conference in the nation, “said Philip P. DiStefano, chancellor of CU-Boulder.
“The University of Colorado is a perfect match — academically and athletically — with the Pac-10,” said University of Colorado President Bruce D. Benson, “our achievements and aspirations match those of the universities in the conference and we look forward to a productive relationship.”
Scott, Benson and DiStefano will be available to the media via conference call at 11:30 a.m. MDT. The conference call dial-in is 1-888-285-4585; participant code 649339.
Scott, DiStefano, Benson, CU Board of Regents Chairman Steve Bosley and CU Athletic Director Mike Bohn and others will hold the official press conference on Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. MDT on the club level at Folsom Field in Boulder.
Nebraska should be announcing no later than Friday its decision to join the Big Ten. Given all the media reports coming out of Lincoln, don't be surprised if Nebraska goes ahead with an announcement today.
Also, officials from Texas and Texas A&M are meeting today, and their options might include more than just leaving for the Pac-10. Apparently the Southeastern Conference is also a possibility.
If Texas and Texas A&M don't lead the much-rumored exodus from the Big 12 to the Pac-10, then the Pac-10 still might consider others such as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, as well as Utah from the Mountain West Conference.
We'll have to see if the Mountain West, as also mentioned in the End Zone column, might quickly capitalize on the Big 12's implosion. That column listed Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor as being possible new members for the Mountain West. Now we might also add Missouri to that list, amid reports that the Big Ten might stop at 12 members (it currently has 11) after pulling in Nebraska.
Imagine, Air Force in a conference that also includes Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State, not to mention Baylor and Iowa State.
Stay tuned. The momentum of this developing shakeup should accelerate rapidly over the next 24 hours.