The big super conference of 16 teams isn't in the cards for the Pac-10 right now. Adding Colorado and Utah is a big step, however. There'll be a conference championship, possibly a TV network, all that good stuff.
But the possibilities don't end there. Is a 14-team conference that far-fetched?
Rumor is now that the Pac-10 will invite Boise State and TCU from the Mountain West. (Note: This is a rumor, don't quote me as saying it's a fact.) Boise State was recently announced as switching from the WAC into the Mountain West, but has been on the Pac-10's radar for some time now.
Boise State has a good football team, considering they aren't part of the BCS. Boise State also makes sense geographically and would keep travel time down for the rest of the schools.
Oregon has had a bit of history with the Broncos and no doubt wants payback for being shown up this past September. I can definitely see this brewing into a rivalry if Boise were to make the switch.
Boise State also boasts a great cross country team, women's soccer team, and women's swimming team.
As far as TCU is concerned... they are a Texas school. The same problem presents itself as it did with inviting the Oklahoma and Texas schools before—travel time. Texas is quite a ways away from Washington and Oregon.
But the Horned Frogs have a great academic history and play some quality football. They also have a great baseball team and a good group of tennis players. The diversity would be welcomed in the Pac-10 from both TCU and Boise State.
Geographically, actually, TCU might fit right in.
Consider how a 14-team conference would split up. The most obvious way to do it would be North and South.
In the North you have Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Colorado, and Boise State.
Then in the South—UCLA, Stanford, USC, Cal, TCU, Arizona State, and Arizona.
Arizona isn't that far from Texas, and USC is only a couple 100 miles closer to Washington than they are TCU, which, in actuality, isn't that much of a difference.
I know Boise State just committed to the Mountain West, but it's not too late to change. If the Pac-10 also took TCU, that would be huge. A 14-team conference is nearly as good as a 16-team one.
Sure, Boise State and Texas Christian aren't exactly Texas and Oklahoma, but it's still a great upgrade.
Afterwards, the Mountain West would be left with only seven teams and the WAC with eight. Now, in my other article, I discussed what becomes of the two conferences after this whole expansion business is finished.
But if the Pac-10 makes a move for Boise State and TCU, I propose a different plan—a merge of the Mountain West and WAC.
This would mean a 15-team conference consisting of:
Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, and Wyoming.
The conference would divide East and West, forming two divisions looking like this in the West—BYU, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, and UNLV. The East would feature Air Force, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Utah State, and Wyoming.
I think the BCS could definitely grant this new conference an automatic bid.
The Pac-10, Mountain West, Big 12, and Big Ten conferences have all said they're done expanding and are happy the way things are. But I doubt it...if the Pac-10 makes a move, people will start scrambling again.
The Pac-10 would greatly benefit from the addition of two more teams, and it would be awesome seeing the WAC and MWC merge into one big 15-team conference.