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The Front Row with JASON ELLIOTT June 12, 2010

| June 12, 2010 9:00 PM

Two days that challenged college sports

Shock and awe.

That is the best way to describe my impression of the sports world just minutes after turning on the television Thursday morning and hearing of the University of Colorado going to the Pac-10 Conference.

Then after hearing the news of Boise State going to the Mountain West Conference on Friday afternoon, that feeling went to extremely disappointed.

JUST WHEN the football series between the Boise State Broncos and Idaho Vandals was starting to mean more than in-state bragging rights, this year's game could be the final matchup for a while between the two schools.

For weeks, I've listened to friends telling me just how big this game was going to be for the Idaho program.

Now, I believe them.

Although they will not jump from the Western Athletic Conference until 2011, the Broncos are committed to playing conference games and non-conference plans might not include playing their in-state rival for a few years.

What better way to get a rematch than to end the Broncos' winning streak later this year.

Regardless of what happens, the Governor's Cup game on Friday, Nov. 12 at the Kibbie Dome will be one not to miss.

WHAT SHOCKED me was the move of Colorado to the Pac-10 from the Big 12 Conference, also starting in 2011.

After listening to rumors over the past week, I thought either Texas, Texas Tech or Oklahoma could be the first school to move, not Colorado.

The move makes a lot of sense as far as travel goes for the Buffaloes, giving the Pac-10 another football powerhouse to compete within the league that already has a bunch of talented teams to start with.

Nebraska announced that they were leaving the Big 12 and joining the Big Ten on Friday afternoon.

Some critics compare the proposed new-look Pac-10 as one of the better conferences in college football, even though those other pieces haven't joined the puzzle yet.

But until that point, the BCS championship will still run through the SEC conference.

OVERSHADOWING BOTH were sanctions put down on the University of Southern California for illegal benefits during the 2004 season.

USC lost 30 scholarships for football, but the biggest penalty could be the possible stripping of the 2004 national title during a 13-0 season.

All of this because of a player receiving improper benefits from a booster.

Those players, which are juniors and seniors, are now eligible to transfer wherever they want to continue playing right away. Not only could they face a loss of players, but the Trojans are banned from the postseason for two years, most likely putting a dent in recruiting efforts for a few years.

The landscape of college football has changed just within the last 48 hours, with teams playing musical chairs in three conferences thus far.

Just as long as the those conferences stay competitive after the dancing is over, it should be worth the wait when this becomes a reality.

Jason Elliott is a sports writer for the Coeur d'Alene Press. He can be reached via phone at 664-8176, Ext. 2020 or via e-mail at jelliott@cdapress.com.

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