The news that every serious buff fanatic had been hearing for months has finally hit the mainstream: There is a chance that the CU (along with Utah) could head to the Pac-10 as part of a re-alignment and expansion plan. A full write-up on the plan can be found here. I, for one, can't wait for this to happen, and I'll tell you why...
1) CU is a much better fit in the Pac-10 culturally and academically. Currently CU is in a conference where the other members hold a vastly different cultural mindset. As a collective, CU is seen as a bunch of weirdo hippie freaks by their BigXII compatriots. How could the members of the Pac-10 see CU as weird when 2 of their core member schools reside in the general San Francisco area. They don't call it the left coast for nothing. Hell, Berkley makes Boulder look like straight-laced conservatives by comparison. It also gets CU away from schools like K-State and Texas Tech who put far less emphasis on scholastic achievement (they fail English, which is unpossible).
2) It'll help out with the current athletic funding disparity. Let's be honest, the rest of the BigXII takes athletics far to seriously for CU to compete on an even playing field. The BigXII is slowly, but surely, turning into the SEC (or the new version of the Southwest Conference, however you want to look at it). Big money, little respect for the rules and a whole lot of hyper-competitive egos running around. CU will never, ever, be able to compete on an equal playing field financially with Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and even Kansas. The Buffs just can't raise that level of cash. Cal, Oregon St, UW, WSU, and Arizona are much more CU's speed. The fact is that money equals success in college athletics. A move to the Pac-10 moves the Buffs from the bottom of the BigXII financial basement to the middle of the pack out west.
3) Money. I imagine that the new television deal for the Pac-10 will be huge. With the inclusion of Salt Lake City and Denver, the Pac-10 would cover some huge media markets. Denver, SLC, Southern California, San Francisco, Portland, Phoenix, and Seattle. Any TV deal with this new "Pac-12" would be massive, and CU would get a sizable chunk of that new pie.
4) Recruiting and Alumni. Playing more games in California and all points west will help our recruiting, which in recent years has become primarily West coast focused (although Hawk has expanded current recruiting, such as it is, to Ohio and New Jersey). Playing games in areas where you recruit raises your, which in turn makes it easier for the Buffs to get their foot in the door. Also, a large chunk of CU's Alumni base resides in So-Cal, and they'd love to see their Buffs play more local games... maybe CU will finally be able to get the "poor traveling school" monkey off their backs.
5) Easier travel to games, better destinations. This is both for the teams and for spectators. It can be damn tough to get to some BigXII schools (As anyone who has tried to get to Ames, IA can attest). A flight from Denver to LA or Seattle is much easier and cheaper to get than one to whatever airport Lubbock uses. This could theoretically help out the athletic department budget. Also, no one will miss less-than-exciting destinations like Manhattan, KS and Waco, TX. Seriously, if you wouldn't trade visits to Lincoln, NE and Lubbock, TX for trips to Eugene, OR and Seattle, WA, then you need to have your head examined.
About the only drawback I can see is the loss of the rivalry with Nebraska. If only Mike Bohn hadn't signed that idiotic contract with CSU this past year, he could swap them for the nubs and have the best of both worlds. Oh, well.