Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott today outlined divisional alignments for the Pac-10 Conference, to begin with the 2011 football season.
Scott spoke at a news conference in San Francisco, and provided details on new football divisions, which puts the University of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, USC and UCLA in the new Pac-12 South for football. Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State, California and Stanford will make up the Pac-12 North.
"The objective was to create a modern 12-team conference for the long term," Scott prefaced in his remarks.
Another key for the unanimous move forward -- with all schools' CEOs voting favorably -- was a revenue-sharing model that will become equal within several years.
The league's football teams will continue with a nine-game schedule, with teams playing each of their divisional partners every year and playing four of the cross-divisional opponents. However, also approved was a guarantee that the four California schools will meet each year in football, and alternate only two cross-divisional games.
Additionally, the Pac-12 will hold a football conference championship game in 2011, to be held at the home field of the team with the best overall conference record, using a tie-breaker system if necessary.
Men's and women's basketball will continue with an 18-game conference schedule including home and home games with natural rivals (ASU in UA's case), plus six rotating home and home matches with teams and six single-game annual matches with other league squads. All other sports will not involve divisional play, he said.
Scott said it was anticipated that Pac-12 schools would have football schedules for 2011 and 2012 worked out within the next month.
Scott indicated that the board of conference presidents and chancellors looked at the whole process for working out Pac-12 details as a complete challenge, as opposed to specific battles over either divisional play or revenue-sharing opportunities.
"I believe that today's developments represent the best long-term interest of all conference members," Scott said.
Scott said the Pac-12 football championship game would be licensed on its own, as opposed to being part of the league's TV contract, which expires at the end of 2011.
The Pac-12 basketball tournaments are expected to include all 12 teams, Scott said, although details have yet to be worked out.