Amid reports that the Nebraska Cornhuskers are poised to join the Big Ten, does that mean we've taken another stride closer toward seeing the formation of a supersized Pac-10 with the addition of the Big 12 South? Perhaps.
With that in mind, the name for the potentially expanded league is the subject of this week's top-10 list. I opened the topic to my Twitter followers and would love to see whether you can top these nicknames in the comments.
1. The Surf and Turf Conference:
I saw this name on Twitter the other day and thought it was pretty clever, given the locales involved. Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott seems like a bold, outside-the-box thinker, and this would get him away from tired, descriptive 20th-century terms such as "big" or "great" and avoid the messy detail of assigning a number just in case he feels like inviting, say, Pepperdine one day just because "Hey, they have an awesome campus." Plus, being known as the SAT Conference probably would be seen as a final dig at the Big Ten, Jim Delany's league.
2. The Wild West Conference:
The Pac-10 made its bones as a passing conference overflowing with gifted quarterbacks. Meanwhile, the biggest boom to Big 12 (especially the Big 12 South) since the conference shifted from the old Southwest Conference and Big Eight was its evolution to the wide-open passing game. The games are high-scoring and entertaining, and this name also would be a nod to the legacies of conferences past. One potential big bonus is that almost all the schools involved recruit both Texas and California heavily. This deal would only help boost their chances to land talent on the opposite side of the league. On Wednesday, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops talked about the recruiting impact in the Daily Oklahoman:
"When I first heard it, I thought it was exciting. Thought, that has a chance to be pretty good, by bringing the West Coast recruiting into play," Stoops said.
3. The 16Pac:
A handful of Tweets just loved the idea of splitting the league between the In-N-Out versus the Whataburger divisions.
4. The Sun-West Conference:
Sounds a lot like the Southwest Conference. That's kind of a good thing, right?
5. The Gold Rush Alliance:
So this one doesn't exactly speak to anything that screams student-athlete, but will that matter if you're on the women's soccer team bound for Pullman, Wash., from Lubbock, Texas?
6. The Big Sixteen:
Maybe Scott needs to move on this or force Delany's hand again. Then again, a reader pointed out, Delany might opt for the Big 15 for symmetry's sake.
And as my friend Bryan points out, Scott can get out front and chase the naming rights.
8. The Moneyfest Destiny Conference:
A trite play on the virtues of Manifest Destiny with a 21st-century college sports twist.
9. The Star System:
No state uses the image of the star more prominently than Texas, and the star image has been something that the biggest city in Pac-10 country has marketed for years.
10. Not the SEC:
Four BCS titles in a row? Eh, we've got Texas. And Phil Knight!