Is it really a surprise?
The Buffs are now part of the Pac-12 south division alongside regional rival Utah, the league announced Thursday in San Francisco, Calif.
“It’s an exciting day for the Pac-12 and all of our fans,” Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a news release.
As predicted, the two-division system will allow traditional in-state and regional rivalries to stay intact, including those of the California schools who will be split up with the two division system. Inter-division games will also be scheduled to ensure California schools continue their storied rivalries, according to the news release.
The deal was reached with votes from chancellors and presidents from each member school.
“Not only did we achieve a competitive balance in our divisions, but we were also able to preserve our traditional rivalries as cornerstones of our conference,” Scott said. “These great annual battles have produced some of the most memorable moments in sports history. It was imperative that we kept them intact.”
The split joins Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Utah with the Buffs in the Pac-12 south, while the north division will include California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington and Washington State.
Scott said adopting a plan for equal revenue sharing creates a conference with a strong foundation for what he calls long-term success.
“Our key objective was to transform the Pac-10 to a modern 12-team conference that has long-term strength, increased value, competitive balance and is fan friendly and we have done that with these monumental decisions today,” Scott said.
The new conference will also feature a Pac-12 Championship game, to be played in December 2011 at the school with the best overall record.
Basketball and all other athletics are left out of this split, according to the news release. Men’s and women’s basketball will feature an 18-game schedule home and home games against traditional rivals with six rotating home and home games. Single play games against the remaining four schools will also be scheduled.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Esteban L. Hernandez at Esteban.firstname.lastname@example.org.