Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn — a former Idaho athletic director — told the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera that the Buffaloes and five other Big 12 schools could soon receive invitations to the Pac-10.
The report is the same as an earlier report by Rivals.com.
3:52 p.m. — It’s time for Thursday's installment of Conference Expansion Rumor Roulette.
Rivals.com is reporting the Pac-10 is on the verge of inviting half of the Big 12 to joins its ranks. I have no idea whether this is a rumor or if the story has any legs to it.
But what I do know is this is the type of bold thinking the Pac-10 must engage in. Sorry, but adding Colorado and Utah is a shoulder-shrugging move. It doesn’t add much buzz or, more importantly, dollars.
Raiding the best parts of the Big 12 South, however, reshapes the entire college football landscape. If the Pac-10 is going to do something, this is the type of move it needs to make.
UPDATE: Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott issued a statement late Thursday afternoon:
"We are aware of a story filed today by an Orangebloods.com columnist, speculating about possible expansion plans for the Pac-10 Conference. While many interesting scenarios have been suggested in numerous news reports, around the country, we remain focused on a thorough evaluation process that examines all of the options for increasing the value of the conference for our member institutions, our student athletes and our fans. We have not developed any definitive plans. We have not extended any invitations for expansion and we do not anticipate any such decisions in the near term."
Still let’s play along and say the Pac-10 strikes it rich by getting Texas, A&M and Oklahoma to go west. It would leave two eight-team divisions in the Pac-16.
The Pac-16 East
The Pac-16 West
At that point, the Big Ten decides its time to move, plucking Missouri, Nebraska and some combination of Notre Dame, Rutgers, Connecticut, Syracuse and/or Pittsburgh to get to 16 as well.
Other dominoes will surely fall — likely the SEC raiding the ACC and the ACC picking off the last of the Big East.
It also leaves former Big 12 schools Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor are hanging with no obvious place to go.
And it makes life extremely complicated for the nine presidents of the current Mountain West Conference.
I believe the league is on the verge of inviting Boise State — a move that is good for the MWC and for Boise State. I will write more about this in Sunday’s paper. Again, enough presidents, athletic directors and football coaches have publicly supported Boise State that I believe a move is likely.
(Yes, I know what I wrote in late April. And I still believe those issues will have to be addressed.)
It is not a done deal, however, and rumblings from the BCS leagues could give the presidents pause.
Such a dramatic scenario — a Pac-16 and the demise of the Big 12 — complicates things considerably. And while there is no way this shakes out by Monday, the MWC presidents will have a lot to consider when they meet in Jackson, Wyo.
Does the Big 12 then raid the Mountain West, Conference USA and possibly the WAC to remain a viable conference? Or does it melt away?
Can the Big 12 survive by adding Utah, BYU, TCU, Boise State and others? Or would those schools decline forcing Kansas and Kansas State to grab schools like UTEP, Tulsa, Houston and Memphis?
Or would the Mountain West schools decide there is little reason to jump ship at that point? Would they try to get Kansas (a basketball powerhouse) even if it means taking Kansas State with them?
They could grab all four Big 12 leftovers and Boise State for a 16-team league. But the Mountain West hated the 16-team WAC and has been adamantly against going to 12 teams.
Would they rather wait, see how everything shakes out and grab Kansas instead of Boise State?
With the demise of the Big 12, the Mountain West would almost assuredly grab a BCS spot with or without Boise State.
It’s a lot to consider and, yes, some of it is extremely far-fetched. But that’s just part of what the presidents will have to sort out this weekend.