Monday, September 5, 2011

Conference Hokey-Pokey™: Pac 12?

Is the Big 12 falling apart? If so, whither Mizzou? We've looked at the SEC as the best option for MU Baseball. Next we look at the Pac 12.

The Pac 10, now 12, has been among the top 4 of D-1 baseball for a decade and more.

The Pac 10 expanded a bit eastward beginning this season with the addition of former Big 12 member Colorado (a non-participant in baseball) and Utah.

If the Big 12 crumbles, the PAC is likely to reach out and try to extend their reach even farther eastward. Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have all been rumored as possible targets.

And occasionally Missouri's name comes up in that list as well.

In reality, the two gems in that list that the Pac 12 would aim for first would be be Texas Oklahoma, both football powers. Once one or the other of those schools were to accept membership, then the remaining two slots to fill the 16-team Super-Conference roster would duke it out for Pac 16 attention.

It seems unlikely to me that Missouri, the most eastern of all those schools, would be near the top of the Pac's list. The travel distances even within a potential Pac-16 Western Division would be long.

A potential Missouri-included Pac-16 East might include:
  • Mizzou
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas Tech
  • Colorado (no baseball)
  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • Utah
From Missouri to Utah is a trip of 1,200 miles. To Arizona is about 1,350 miles. Those trips make the Columbia-Lubbock trip (800 miles) seem like a walk down the road.

While the Pac-16 would be a highly competitive conference in baseball, there are no new natural rivals in that list, beyond the current Big 12 rivals in OU, OSU and TT.

While there are worse conferences Mizzou Baseball could find themselves in, the PAC seems a bad fit for the Midwest Tigers.

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