Utah has been invited to join the Pac-10 conference, the Associated Press just reported, and the Deseret News reports the school will accept the invitation.
The Utes, currently affiliated with the Mountain West Conference, would become the conference's 12th member – Colorado accepted an invitation last week. The move comes two days after being turned down by Texas, Oklahoma and three other Big 12 schools.
This new configuration would allow the conference to have a playoff game in football, something that would be a revenue generator.
The Deseret News reports the announcement will be made Thursday at Utah's Board of Trustees meeting. The newspaper's web site said the only item on the trustees agenda is the "discussion of athletic conference," which will be presented to the board for their expected approval.
Here's the AP's latest story:
The Pac-10 invited Utah to become the conference’s 12th member on Wednesday, two days after being turned down by Texas, Oklahoma and three other Big 12 schools.School officials did not immediately say whether the invitation would be accepted, but it would be shocking if the Utes didn’t leave the Mountain West Conference for the Pac-10.The school’s board of trustees will meet Thursday to discuss the school’s conference affiliation. A news conference was scheduled at the university’s football stadium following the board’s meeting.Utah has been a member of the MWC since the league was born in 1999 — and one of its most successful in football and basketball.“We wouldn’t anticipate making a move of this magnitude without the concurrence of our board of trustees,” University of Utah president Michael Young said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday.A message left with Randy Dryer, chairman of the board of trustees, was not immediately returned Wednesday. If Utah bolts the Mountain West, it would be the latest in a string of conference affiliation changes.Last week, Colorado decided to leave the Big 12 and accept an invitation to join the Pac-10. Nebraska has also said it will leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, while Boise State is fleeing the Western Athletic Conference to join the Mountain West.
Earlier in the week, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State recommitted to the Big 12 instead of hopping to the Pac-10.That left the Pac-10 in need of another member to reach the 12 required to hold a football championship game.Utah officials have long been frustrated about their inability to play for a national title while in the Mountain West. Utah had an undefeated season in 2008 but was not invited to the national title game. It defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.Under the Bowl Championship Series, the champions of six conference have automatic bids to play in top-tier bowl games, while the other conferences such as the Mountain West don’t. Those six conferences also receive more money than the other conferences.