Football/basketball: Barbour on Colorado

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.


Football/basketball: Colorado’s Pac-10 arrival off to rocky start

A 10:30 a.m. PDT teleconference introducing Colorado as the newest member of the Pac-10 was interrupted by technical difficulties and rescheduled for early this afternoon. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott welcomed the Golden Buffaloes to the conference, calling it an “historic day,” but the phone company hosting the call was unable to activate the phone lines for Colorado president Bruce D. Benson or Colorado chancellor Phillip P. DiStefano, preventing either from speaking to the media.


We’ll have more as soon as things are back up and running properly.


Football/basketball: Is Nebraska about to make a move that could dissolve the Big 12?

Depending on whether you believe reports from the Texas-based website orangebloods.com and ESPN.com or a rebuttal from the chairman of the Nebraska Board of Regents, the University of Nebraska seems ready to accept an offer to the Big Ten Conference by Friday, if not sooner.

Bob Phares, chairman of Nebraska’s Board of Regents, told the Lincoln Journal-Star that there has been no vote by the board to accept an offer from the Big Ten and, in fact, there has been no offer. Whether this is semantics or a reflection of the reality is hard to say.

This much seems clear: If Nebraska bolts for the Big Ten, it could begin the unraveling of the Big 12 . . . and the expansion of the Pac-10, perhaps to 16 teams.

Texas already has indicated it would not remain in the Big 12 if the conference drops below its current membership level. ESPN reported that officials from Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech have met to pledge solidarity to remain conference brethren, whether in the Big 12 or a new league home.

Colorado has long been a potential target of the Pac-10, and is considered the more likely choice of the league over Baylor, a fourth Big 12 team from Texas, because the TV market in Denver is far greater than that in Waco. Another potential stumbling block, which Pac-10 officials may not wish to verbalize, is that Baylor is a Baptist school and the Pac-10 may not want to include a school with a religious affiliation (See: BYU).

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State also have been reported by orangebloods.com as part of a six-school group from the Big 12 that would wind up in the Pac-10.