The perceived notion was that the Pac-10 and Big 10 wanted a twelfth team to be able to have a title game to gain the extra millions of dollars or so that the game would garner. However, that may not be the case as the Pac-10 is attempting to change NCAA bylaw 188.8.131.52 (c). That bylaw states that a conference must have at least 12 members to stage a championship game, and be in two divisions where there is a round-robin format within each division. NCAA legislation would be needed to change that bylaw. For those who are unaware the NCAA is not in charge of college football championships; that title belongs to the BCS.
This could be a huge blow to Utah who is expected to be one of the two choices to join the Pac-10 if they were to expand. Not joining the Pac-10 could be a good thing in the long run since the Mountain West is looking like they are on track to gain an automatic berth to the BCS. Also, with the Utes all ready at the top of the Mountain West they would be in a prime position from the get-go to gain the automatic bid; while a move to the Pac-10 would have a few years of growing pains to get to the top. If the NCAA were to make the change to allow teams with less then 12 to stage a title game then you can bet any amount of money every league would host a title game for that extra cash.
This also would save the Big East who only has eight teams which is the smallest amount for a conference to exist at the FBS level. Now, if Pitt, Rutgers, or Syracuse were to join the Big East then they may be in trouble. However, if they host a title game then it might be able to keep these teams from leaving in part because they all have a better chance at winning the Big East then the Big 10.
In terms of the Mountain West a title game would surely be held if there was a rule change and it most likely would be held at the higher seeded team, or in Vegas since it would be neutral and that UNLV has little to no shot at being a top two team in the near future (zing!) On a serious note if they wanted a game outside of a schools home stadium there is Invesco Field in Denver, Jerry World in Dallas, University of Phoenix Stadium and the Sun Bowl in El Paso, and possibly a Los Angeles location. Those should all be locations, but the Mountain West would take the safe route and play it either in Vegas or at the home teams stadium, and the game would be put on Versus and gain the extra cash.
One other expansion note is that Larry Scott is looking into their own tv deal:
The Pac-10 is still in the preliminary stages of addressing expansion but is at the point where it is ready to hire a TV consultant in the next 30-60 days, Scott said. Candidates met with Pac-10 presidents earlier this month in Los Angeles.
One note on the Pac-10 television deal is that there is word that they want to team up with the Big XII or ACC to have more content and be able to fill all time slots without having to suffer not having a noon eastern time slot for football. This is a really good idea since the Pac-10 deal is almost as bad as the Mountain West with the only thing saving them from that distinction is the occasional ABC regional 3:30pm eastern kick oh and USC being on ABC/ESPN all the time.
Listen to an interview that Dennis Dodd from CBS Sports did yesterday on KALL 700 Sports in Salt Lake where he discusses expansion, title games with less then 12 teams, and the Pac-10 tv deal workings.