Expansion and TV networks have been the hot topic this year after the Big Ten announced that they were seeking up to five new members to possiby form a 16 team two division super conference. The SEC while saying they were happy with their present size said they would answer with an expansion of their own if that happened. The ACC which is not in danger of losing any members would then tear apart what is left of the Big East.
Out West the Pac 10 is looking for two new members that make sense so they won't be the only BCS conference without a championship game. The Big 12 is trying to be proactive so they don't lose membership to the Big 10, SEC, and Pac 10.
With that in mind Big 12, Pac-10 administrators and athletic directors met Wednesday in Phoenix to discuss a marketing alliance which would allow the conferences to act as a team to negotiate network, cable television rights, and participate in the formation of a joint cable network.
Think of it as a way of linking the Pac 10 to the Texas market without having to expand in that direction. Think of it as a way for the Big 12 and Pac 10 to unite the Texas/Midwest with the California/West Coast markets.
As usual the spectre of Big Ten expansion will have a lot to say in which direction this alliance will evolve. The Big 12 is ripe for the picking. There is a very good chance that they could lose Missouri to the Big Ten and Colorado to the Pac Ten which is surviveable but the dominoes would completely fall if the Big Ten and SEC expand to sixteen teams.
Lets say the Big Ten adds one team rather than five. The current status quo is maintained and an alliance between the Pac 10 and Big 12 makes a lot of sense going into the future. It keeps the Big Ten and SEC sealed off at the Mississippi. It could make Big 12 schools think twice before leaving for the greener pastures of the SEC and Big 10. This proposed alliance could be the only thing that puts the squeeze on the SEC's ability to expand into Texas in response to the Big Ten going to 16.