Another day of not knowing what to do with the Pac-12 after USC and UCLA announced their move to the Big Ten is upon us.
However, we are starting to be able to use the process of elimination as to what might happen, due to the fact that after being tied to the Big 12 in some capacity, talks between the two conferences fell through. Whether or not there were any legitimate efforts by the Big 12 is unclear, as there is a conspiracy that the conference is on the prowl to poach Pac-12 schools in the future.
Either way, all we know at this time is that merging the Pac-12 and Big 12 to form what was to be the first of three mega-conferences is not on the cards. Many college football fans and pundits are predicting where the conference will go next and if they can do anything to stay afloat and relevant.
While the college football world’s pessimists (there are many) think the conference’s days are numbered, the Pac-12 still have three options they can choose from that aren’t just a total conference blast. .
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Let’s take a look at these options!
Form a partnership with the ACC
Even though most people thought merging with the Big 12 was the ideal move for the Pac-12, there has been recent evidence presented by John Canzano that partnering with the ACC is much more profitable. Without Oklahoma, which is tied in the SEC with Texas, the Big 12 has no playoff appearances and only one future member Cincinnati. The ACC and the Pac-12 both had two different schools for the playoffs, and the conference’s respective situations in terms of TV deals align better than that of the Big 12. It would also still be a very conference. respectable with schools like Clemson, Oregon, Washington, Stanford, Florida State and Miami headlining. We know that money is the most important motivator behind everything that happens, and ESPN’s ability to lock down late night games and the West Coast is something they probably like very much.
Stays just like a 10-team conference
We know the remaining Pac-12 schools have publicly expressed their intention to stick together, and maybe a deal with the ACC doesn’t work, but there’s a big enough supply to keep poachers out. That’s where this option comes in, although it could be the wort of all three given that the conference is on track to lose $200 million a year without USC and UCLA, it’s technically an option. That would be the riskiest given that other conferences such as the Big Ten and the SEC are out for blood and trying to form their mega-conferences with at least 16 teams. It’s more like blocking or delaying the inevitable demise of the conference, just because it would probably be the weakest conference without a call.
Whether it’s through a partnership with the ACC or the poaching-capable Pac-12 on its own, it’s definitely an option to consider. Especially with a chance to regain access to the Southern California market, with available San Diego State that has been named by almost everyone as the school to get. Although some current university standards are not met, such as being an R1 research institute, it is believed that status could arrive next year depending on research funding.
Another school gaining momentum to be added to the Pac-12 is SMU which was overlooked by the Big 12 in their expansion, but would give the Pac-12 a Dallas connection they don’t have. Similar to San Diego State, it is not an R1 research institute. However, SMU has a donation over $2 billion and are No. 68 in the latest US, News and World Report rankings of national universities, which is superior to all of the remaining Pac-12 schools except Stanford, Cal, and Washington. The conference could also consider adding Kansas and Goznaga to boost the prestige of basketball. There are options, none as profitable as Los Angeles, but they have a chance to save themselves here.