A new Pac-16 Conference is apparently being discussed again. The idea is that Oklahoma and Texas would leave the Big 12 Conference and join an ever-expanding conference in the west. The Pac-12 Conference just added Utah and Colorado this year, and now there appears to be back-room chatter about four more teams coming into the conference next year.
ESPN is reporting Pac-12 officials as well as officials at Oklahoma and Texas are discussing the possibility of a huge movement. If a move like this were to take place, then the proposal would include having Oklahoma State and Texas Tech join as well. That would certainly make the Pac-16 a power conference that would have more top-tier teams that any other conference in college football.
If these four schools from the Big 12 came over to the Pac-12, it would also be an easy process to set up two divisions. There could be an East and a West division, allowing for real geographic rivalries to stay in place. The West would consist of the California, Oregon and Washington schools, equating to eight total schools under this plan. The East would then have the four new Big 12 schools, the two Arizona schools, Utah and Colorado. It almost makes more sense than any divisions in college football right now.
There has already been recent news about Texas A&M leaving the Big 12, and this would just be the next logical step in that conference folding. There looks to be only nine teams left in the “Big 12″ next year, and schools like Oklahoma and Texas don’t want to be left out in the cold. It seems very likely the Big 12 Conference is on life-support at this point, and that it is only a matter of time until all of the schools have to find a new place to call home.
It would certainly raise the profile of the Pac-12 Conference if teams like Oklahoma and Texas were playing in the opposing division. That could set up possible Pac-16 championship games of Texas vs. USC or Oregon vs. Oklahoma. Both of those projections would certainly bring attention and money to the conference, and as the world of college football continues to be controlled by cash, this makes sense for everyone involved. There is a long ways to go before anything becomes official in this situation, and the Pac-12 may have to sell itself better than the SEC at some point when trying to attract Texas.