Headlinin’: Colorado bound for ‘Pac-11’ as expansion dominoes fall

Making the morning rounds.

We don’t know, but we know, you know? Officially, Nebraska regents continue to deny reports of any decisions concerning leaving the Big 12 or joining the Big Ten, mainly on grounds that there hasn’t been an official vote of any kind ahead of Friday’s meeting of the university’s Board of Regents. This can be taken as the bureaucratic semantics it almost certainly is: The Chicago Tribune, ESPN and Nebraska’s Rivals affiliate are among the many outlets reporting the ‘Huskers’ imminent defection to the Big Ten, compared to one – via Big Red blog Corn Nation, urging strict respect for "the process" – harboring significant doubts. In all but the signatures and press releases, it appears to be a done deal. [Lincoln Journal-Star, Husker Illustrated, Chicago Tribune]

California, here we come, part one. With Nebraska tipping on out, Colorado is set for its own defection to the Pac-10, which resides in the same unofficial, worst-kept-secret territory as the ‘Huskers’ impending move East. The San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner, one of the more connected reporters on the West Coast, has already dubbed it the "Pac-11," writing that Colorado "is likely to formally accept" an invitation to become the 11th member of the Pac-10 today. Baylor’s attempt to strong-arm an invitation through political channels at the Buffaloes’ expense has apparently failed. [Boulder Daily Camera, San Jose Mercury News]

California, here we come, parts 2-6. Meanwhile, the rest of the Pac-10’s grand plan to absorb the Big 12 South is looking more like a foregone conclusion, especially in Lubbock and Norman, where high-ranking officials told the local outlets that Texas Tech and Oklahoma (along with Oklahoma State) have their bags packed for the Pac-10. Said "one high-placed OU source" to the Oklahoman: "Load up on your sunscreen." [Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Oklahoman]

Sunscreen notwithstanding, the march to the coast won’t happen for anyone in the South Division without Texas, which seems willing to give one last effort to keep the Big 12 band together. UT officials are meeting in Austin this morning with officials from Texas A&M, which itself has received significant interest from the SEC over the last several months. The Texas schools (minus Baylor) are allegedly committed to moving as a block, and as farfetched as it seems with the certainty of reports sending the Longhorns, Aggies and Raiders to the Pac-10, a late-breaking defection to the SEC remains on the table today. We’ll see how long it remains there. [Sports Illustrated, Houston Chronicle]

Quickly… In non-expansion news, Colorado was docked five scholarships for failing to meet the standards of the NCAA’s academic progress rate, the only "Big Six" program nationally to be hit with academic sanctions when the numbers were released on Wednesday. … Ohio State defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is just fine with missing out on the Playboy mansion. … And listen to the 911 call to report former Notre Dame star Golden Tate and a friend "drunk and acting like idiots" at a Seattle doughnut shop.

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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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