The plans unveiled today for the new Pac-12 Conference obviously impact football more than other sports, but here’s what we know about changes coming to basketball:
— The Pac-12 schedule will continue to be 18 games, as it’s been since the conference expanded from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10 in 1979.
— There will be no divisions in basketball — that’s strictly a format for football because of its championship game.
— Cal and Stanford will continue to play a home-and-home with each other every season, as will all of the traditional rivals. Newcomers Colorado and Utah will be paired as rivals and travel partners.
— The remainder of the conference schedule will involve six rotating home-and-homes plus four rotating single games. Update: The plan involves a 10-year calendar where teams would play opponents on a home-and-home basis in six years and on a single-game basis the other four years. In other words, in four of 10 seasons, Cal would play just once each year against UCLA and USC. In those seasons, the games against the L.A. schools would be held on the same weekend, either on the road or at home, but not split.
— Fox holds the TV rights to the Pac-10 basketball tournament for the next two seasons and the conference is committed to keeping the event in Los Angeles through 2012. That figures to be at the Staples Center. When the conference negotiates its media rights deal, which would go into effect for the 2012-13 school year, the site and format of the conference tournament could be altered.
— In any case, commissioner Larry Scott said the conference wants to involve all 12 teams in the tournament. The format for a 12-team tournament is still be discussed.
— Cal coach Mike Montgomery said through a spokesman that he has no reaction to the changes.
The new-look Pac-12 will be unveiled Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in a San Francisco press conference with commissioner Larry Scott. He will officially announce the new alignment — with Cal & Stanford expected to join the Oregons and Washingtons in the North — along with details on football championship game, basketball tournament, etc.
The press conference will be carried live on www.pac-10.org, powered by Ustream.
Check out our stories this morning on the Pac-10’s difficult task of determining divisional alignment when expansion arrives. The stakes are high in football, where two divisions are necessary for the league to stage a championship game. Divisions may not be necessary in basketballl and other sports, but scheduling will be just as difficult.
Pac-10 athletic directors and commissioner Larry Scott will gather in Los Angeles on Friday to begin the process.
–Utah may officially have joined the Pac-10, but there still are many unanswered questions.
–The Salt Lake Tribune’s story about Utah’s move to the Pac-10.
–Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott says the upcoming decisions can now come at a slower pace.
Here is a full transcript from today’s press conference announcing Utah’s addition to the Pac-10. A few notes of interest:
–Commissioner Larry Scott said it has yet to be determined if there will be a championship game for football and how the conference will be aligned in terms of divisions.
–Utah will being competing in the Pac-10 in the 2011-12 season. Although it was originally announced Colorado would start in 2012-13, there is now a possibility the Buffaloes will arrive with Utah in 2011.
–The idea of a Pac-10 television network is still on the table.
One of the worst kept secrets in recent memory is finally a reality: Utah officially joined the Pac-10 today, giving the conference 12 members. More to come….
The press conference announcing Utah is joining the Pac-10 can be viewed here. The press conference begins at Noon PDT. Later, there will be a transcript here.
The Pac-10 announced it has officially extended an invitation to Utah to join the conference. Utah’s board of trustees are meeting at Noon (Mountain Time) tomorrow and a press conference has already been scheduled for 1 p.m. It sounds like the trustees meeting is just a formality at this point; otherwise, no press conference would be scheduled. So expect Utah to officially join the Pac-10 tomorrow afternoon.
Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson said today that the Pac-10 has made contact with him regarding the University of Utah, but wouldn’t provide any further details. It is believed Utah will join the Pac-10 soon. While Comcast SportsNet Bay Area reported last night that a press conference was expected today, ESPN.com is reporting that the announcement could come “as soon as Friday.”
A Pac-10 official says there is no news at this time regarding the addition of Utah to the conference. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be news eventually..and possibly soon. Meanwhile, as of last night, Utah was denying Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s report that the addition of the Utes was a done deal.