Well, a lot happened after I feel asleep last night...
After all the posturing, all the back room negotiations and all the public speculation Larry Scott and his his CEO's decided to pass.
The league, with a short news release Tuesday night, put to rest swirling speculation it would soon become a 16-team super conference.
"After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference," Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement.
The Pac-12 made the announcement shortly after Scott convened with school presidents and chancellors. Scott did not have any further comment.
So much for a vote coming later this week.
I will admit, I thought this was going to happen. Larry Scott is being very progressive in identifying the landscape. He is pretty visionary.
This development falls right into line with what Jon Wilner said in his piece yesterday, that Scott wouldn't bring the proposal to a vote if he didn't have Texas FULLY on board. Of course, the speculation is that UT wouldn't play ball with regards to the Longhorn Network but I wonder if there is something more?
Just a couple of thoughts in no particular order or relevance...
- - Did the Pac-12 see that once again they were being used as a club by another conference to get the changes that they wanted?
- - Were some of the "lesser" football programs having problems with powerhouses like OU and UT coming in and using them as doormats to pad their records? We don't how the scheduling would have worked out but UT and OU would have free reign to use those games to work in recruiting visits and increase their footprint...the stronger get stronger, etc.
- - Reviewing past history, how much did Colorado object to UT and OU coming in? UT is a big reason as to why Colorado left the Big 12. It is entirely possible that Colorado got on the phone and warned Scott what he was in for.
- - I noted yesterday that UT has a reputation of not being a good partner. They pushed their weight around when UT left the SWC to join the members the Big 8 to form the Big 12 in 1996. The Pac-12 CEO's probably took note of that, coupled with UT's insistence to keep the LHN intact and it was game over.
I don't have a problem with Scott exploring this...Again.
When someone calls you have to pick up the phone. But if Scott couldn't get exactly what he wanted in UT being compliant WRT the LHN then it was best to move on. I will not buy into any argument about academics, that's just posturing to bolster the reason why the Pac-12 passed on expansion. This was mostly about UT and the LHN and a little bit about once again being used as a pawn to seek change in the Big 12 to keep it together.
I was ambivalent on expansion. I trust Larry Scott to do the right thing. He explored it, reviewed it with his membership and ultimately decided to move on.
I am not sure what the future holds. The telling words "for now" are evident here. I don't see Scott picking up the phone the next time UT or OU calls. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
I just don't see any other viable candidates that move the needle or make sense for the Pac-12 to expand in the future.
It was interesting exercise and it was fun to speculate but we turn the page.