It's official, Utes invited to Pac-10

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Finally, the speculation has ended and the question of "when" has been answered.

The Pac-10 has officially extended an invitation to the University of Utah.

In a notice issued Wednesday afternoon, The University of Utah's Board of Trustees will hold a public meeting Thursday at 12:30pm on the 6th floor of Rice-Eccles Stadium.

There is only one item on the agenda: discussion of athletic conference.

Utah to the Pac-10 Timeline
June 7
MWC opts to not expand due to the uncertainty in the intercollegiate landscapeJune 10
"Conference Armageddon" is officially on, as Colorado bolts the Big 12 in advance of what was expected to be the "Tex-odus" to Pac 16. June 11
Boise St accepts invitation to join Mountain West. MWC looks to merge with remaining Big 12 teams after it looks like most of the conference will head west to join Pac-16. Nebraska bolts for the Big 10.June 12
Texas A&M on the fence about joining Pac-16, talks to SEC about heading east. Opens possible door for Utah to take their place.June 14
Last minute deal keeps Big 12 (albeit 10 schools) together, with Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M taking the lions share of the revenue. Pac-16 deal over, Utes speculated to join Pac-10 to give Colorado a travel partner and give the Pac-10 a championship game.June 17
Utah's Board of Trustees set to meet regarding Pac-10 invitation at 12:30, press conference to follow at 1 pm.

It is expected that the Board will unanimously approve the move from the Mountain West to the Pac-10. Utah will join current members Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State along with Colorado, which made the departure from the Big 12 earlier this week.


When asked about the possibility, school president Michael Young told The Associated Press "we wouldn't anticipate making a move of this magnitude without the concurrence of our board of trustees."

The Mountain West Conference called a news conference for Thursday following Utah's. 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.

BYU's perspective
Greg Wrubell:
"It's a day BYU supporters wish would never have arrived, but it's here. BYU will continue to occupy its place among the best schools and athletic programs in the country, but will do so in a way that is deemed by some to be "secondary" to an instate rival that attracts fewer fans, TV viewers and radio listeners, and boasts less national appeal." - Cougar Tracks

By joining the Pac-10, Utah will be able in increase their current television revenue from $1.2 million per year to between $8 million - $10 million per year, with even more possible if Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac-10, is able to renegotiate a new TV contract.

The move to the Pac-10 also has other rewards. As a member of a BCS conference the football team now has greater access to big money bowl games, including the Rose Bowl and the opportunity to play for a BCS National Championship.

The move should also have a positive impact on recruiting in all sports with national exposure sure to increase as well.

It may not take long for the football team to enjoy success against Pac-10 competition. Since Urban Meyer was hired as head coach in 2003, the Utes are 7-3 against Pac-10 teams and 5-0 at home. That includes a win over California in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl.

Utah has been a member of the MWC since the league began in 1999.


Story compiled with contributions from Robert Jackson, Jeremiah Jensen and the Associated Press.

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