In college golf, 'Pac-16' could be dominant

Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw during Semifinals of Saturday's Match Play at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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Sure, football is fun, but imagine what the addition of Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma to the Pac-12 would mean to college golf. ESPN.com reported Monday that conference officials are having “active discussions” about adding those four schools to the Pac-16.

The Pac-12’s reported additions would bring the game’s premiere program, Oklahoma State, to one of the nation’s strongest golf conferences. Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma also have strong golf histories. The Pac-16 would be home to three of the past six NCAA Championship winners.

If the Pac-16 had been in existence last season, it would’ve been home to 11 of the nation’s top 30 men’s golf teams. Nine potential Pac-16 members were in Golfweek’s preseason top 30 teams. Pac-16 schools held down five of the top eights spots in the preseason rankings – UCLA (2), Stanford (3), Texas (5), USC (7) and Oklahoma State (8).

The conference’s size also would make it a perfect place to experiment with a match-play conference championship. The Pac-16 Championship could be a 16-team, match-play event, or one where the field is pared to eight teams after stroke play, similar to the NCAA Championship’s format.

• • •

Potential Pac-16 members in the 2010-11 Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings:

  • 1. Oklahoma State
  • 3. UCLA
  • 13. Texas
  • 16. USC
  • 18. Texas Tech
  • 19. California
  • 20. Stanford
  • 22. Oregon
  • 26. Arizona State
  • 28. Oklahoma
  • 29. Washington
  • 45. Oregon State
  • 64. Arizona
  • 86. Washington State
  • 102. Colorado
  • 172. Utah
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