DENVER — The Colorado Buffaloes have bolted from the Big 12, accepting an invitation today to become the 11th member of the Pac-10 Conference.
It's the first expansion of the league since it added Arizona and Arizona State in 1978. More teams could follow Colorado from the Big 12 to the Pac-10. Reports say Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could accept invitations soon.
Before the Buffaloes jumped ship to another conference, Nebraska looked poised to become the first team to leave the Big 12, possibly exiting for the Big Ten as soon as Friday.
With Colorado gone and Nebraska on the verge of maybe moving on, this could seriously damage remaining members' hopes to keep the Big 12 intact. Schools such as Missouri, Baylor, Iowa State, Ka nsas and Kansas State might be left on the sideline.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott announced in February that the conference was exploring possible expansion. He was given the authority last weekend from the schools to offer invitations to pote ntial new members.
"The University of Colorado is a great fit for the conference both academically and athletically," Scott said in a statement.
Colorado president Bruce Benson echoed those thoughts, saying, "Our achievements and aspirations match those of the universities in the conference and we look forward to a productive relations hip."
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne wasn't at all surprised by the Buffaloes' move out West.
"That's something we thought might happen," he said.
Could Nebraska be next?
"Until we have a definite decision, I'm not saying anything else," Osborne said.