College football is quickly becoming America's newest export. Two games have already been played in Ireland, and another one is scheduled for 2016. Texas has talked about playing a game in Mexico City for more than a year now. Bowl games have previously been played in Canada and Japan, and one currently takes place in the Bahamas.
But now, some in college football have set their sights on a new frontier, and what a new frontier it is: Australia.
The Pac-12 and Mountain West are in discussions about playing a bowl game in Australia, possibly as soon as next season. “They say their support (for football) is crazy in Australia and it's in the stadium where they have Aussie rules football, and they have 35,000 to 40,000 every game,” Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told CBS last month.
And on Wednesday word broke that Baylor could beat the potential Pac-12-Moutain West bowl to the Land Down Under by a few months. Fox Sports Southwest's David Ubben reported Wednesday that Baylor is in discussions to open the 2016 season in Australia, likely against a Pac-12 foe. Sic 'Em Sports, Baylor's Rivals site, reported the mystery team could be California.
Where will the game be played? Who would broadcast it? Will Scott send me to cover it? All of these important - and pressing - details are still to be worked out, but the negotiations are apparently far enough down the road that unnamed athletics department personnel are comfortable floating the idea to journalists.
One detail to note: there are 14 Saturdays between Labor Day weekend and the first weekend in December on the 2016 calendar, one fewer than 2014. Assuming the NCAA doesn't grant a waiver to play the Australia opener a week ahead of everyone else (and it hasn't for all three Ireland games), a Pac-12 team would have to make a rock-and-hard-place choice of either playing the week after traveling to Australia and back or taking the next weekend off and then playing 11 straight weeks in order to complete its regular season by Thanksgiving weekend.