by Ralph Routon
How will the Pacific 10 Conference, which will change its name to the Pacific 12 next July, align its members into six-team divisions starting with the 2011 season?
That answer should come out of the league's meetings Monday and Tuesday in San Francisco, and the University of Colorado probably will not like the outcome.
When CU initially announced its departure from the Big 12 to the Pac-10, the early word was that new members Colorado and Utah likely would join a division including Arizona, Arizona State, Southern Cal and UCLA, with the other division including Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, California and Stanford.
That was CU's fondest wish, because of having its largest out-of-state alumni base in Southern California.
Now, though, it appears the league is headed in different directions.
The most-rumored alignment now being floated would put Colorado and Utah in a north division with the Washington and Oregon schools, leaving the four California schools and the Arizona members in the south.
Another possibility would be following the lead of the Big Ten in its upcoming realignment with 12 teams including Nebraska for 2011, splitting rivals such as Michigan and Ohio State into separate divisions but guaranteeing they would play each other every year.
With that logic applied to the upcoming Pac-12, Colorado would be in a division with Washington, Oregon, UCLA, California and Arizona. The other grouping would be Washington State, Oregon State, Stanford, Southern Cal, Arizona State and Utah.
That would definitely be a compromise, but various reports have been saying the four California schools are insistent about being in the same division.