Pac-12 Is Exploring Options In Expanding Its League
How does impact the Mountain West?
Send in those resumes
The Pac-12 is in trouble and they know it. They lost USC and UCLA as they were blindsided by this move and after a night to think about it, the possibly soon-to-be former “Conference of Champions” announced they are going to look at “all expansion options.”
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) July 1, 2022
That statement is just fine but every team in the league is going to look at its options. Most schools put out a statement about USC and UCLA leaving and some said they are committed to the Pac-12, some said they are looking at all options, and Oregon did not release a statement.
The Ducks official comment was just a few short words: “Nothing to add at this point.”
That is not good. Then there are reports that the Big Ten wants Oregon and Washington to get to 16 teams, but the formerly Midwestern league wants to wait on Notre Dame.
While the statement from the Pac-12 is nice on the surface, the teams aren’t on the same page.
Who Will Pac-12 Take?
Many Mountian West teams want into the Pac-12 but they may attempt and grab some Big 12 teams. The ironic thing about that is that the Big 12 was looking to merge with the Pac-12 — or at least form some partnership — when Texas and Oklahoma left.
The Big 12 may have some leverage to perhaps take some of the Pac-12 schools, which has reportedly been Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Arizona State.
However, the Pac-12 has some leverage if Oregon and Washington stay in the league. If those two Pacific Northwest schools say, then the Pac-12 will likely try to get some Big 12 teams before they come to the Mountain West.
The league will probably still try that over some Mountain West teams, at least at first.
The Pac-12 likes geographic partners for its members but that needs to be thrown out the window when in survival mode. The same might have to be said for academics. Boise State is the biggest brand but they are not really up to par of Pac-12 schools in the classroom.
The two biggest brands in the Mountain West are Boise State and San Diego State, and those seem to be the most likely combination. Colorado State has put a lot of money into football but the results have not been there yet. Fresno State could be an option as well with recent success.
UNLV is a wildcard just because they are in a growing city, well-above-average high school football and they play in the shiny stadium that also hosts the Las Vegas Raiders.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News gives his two cents and it involves San Diego State and Fresno State going to the Pac-12. This would be quite interesting from an athletic and brand standpoint with Boise State being a highly regarded brand and a good football team.
Wilner’s thinking is to keep more teams in California.
— Pac-12 North:
— Pac-12 South:
Discuss amongst yourselves …
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) July 1, 2022
Expect the Mountain West to be a lot of backup plans for the Pac-12 — or the Big 12 if they get plundered.