I spoke this evening with Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour, who was happy and excited about the Pac-10 adding Colorado for the 2012-13 season.
“We’re thrilled. I think there are all kinds of reasons why the addition of the University of Colorado is not only a great idea for the conference but certainly for Cal,” she said. “From an academic and athletic and marketing and television market and somewhat from a geography standpoint, it all makes really good sense.”
Asked if she has a sense what might happen next, Barbour said, “I think we just don’t know. There are certainly scenarios and possibilities where there”s a lot more change to come. But I can envision scenarios where we could end up as the Pac-11. (Either way) I think Colorado would be a very good add.”
Barbour acknowledged that things are moving quickly, but suggested that by imposing a deadline on schools to declare their intentions, the Big 12 forced Colorado’s hand.
“I think under the circumstances and some of the strategies employed by some of the conferences to either stay together or acquire new members, you can see why it had to come together very quickly,” she said.
Without getting ahead of the process that may ultimately land Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in the Pac-10, Barbour said she understands how difficult this might be for schools such as Baylor and Kansas, which may find themselves left behind in a crumbling Big 12.
“That’s a really unfortunate part of this kind of movement,” she said. “It’s very exciting for those that are considered winners to find new and exciting and enhanced homes.”
On the question of how the Pac-10 will handle travel and scheduling, Barbour said conference leadership has her full confidence. They “will use the right value system and the right priorities in putting together the massive numnber of details that will be required to be prepared for an expanded conference in 2012.”
— Nickname: Golden Buffaloes
— Location: Boulder, Colo.
— Founded: 1876
— Enrollment: 30,128 undergraduate students
— Intercollegiate sports teams: Football, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, golf and track and field, women’s soccer, tennis and volleyball, co-ed skiing.
— Most recent national championship: Men’s cross country (2006)
— Famous non-athlete alumni: Judy Collins, musician; Glenn Miller, musician; Robert Redford (did not graduate), actor; Scott Carpenter, astronaut; Stephen Bechtel Jr., busissman; Rick Reilly, writer.
— Famous athlete alumni: Chauncey Billups, basketball; Hale Irwin, golf; Kordell Stewart, football; Bill Toomey, track and field.
— Association of American Universities: Colorado is among 34 U.S. public university members of the century-old organization of elite research institutions. Current Pac-10 schools with membership are Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington.