What the SEC started in 1991 — when Arkansas left the Southwest Conference to join that league — has us here today in a world where conference rescheduling is more interesting than a conference game.
Less than a year after the SEC stole Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12, the Big Ten is doing the same to the Pac-12.
A Big 12 source confirmed that this move is under discussion. He said, “It’s not done yet, but this is probably over.”
Ignore the idiotic logic and insulting expense of UCLA flying five hours from Los Angeles to New Jersey to play Rutgers in a midweek men’s soccer game.
The future of college athletics is a wealth consolidation game, with schools like TCU, Baylor, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, Oregon State, and a few dozen others praying that they can somehow stay in Power 5.
If UCLA and USC going to the Big Ten is like Oklahoma and Texas moving to the SEC, then this is all a mere formality and an exchange of financial data.
Ultimately, if they want to go, they go.
The Pac-12 will soon lose all of Southern California. Washington and Oregon, the floor is yours.
The remaining Pac-12 schools will soon fantasize that the Big Ten will expand again and take them too. Ask the Big 12 how this is going.
The Big Ten got the schools/market it wanted. Sorry, the state of Arizona.
The next time your favorite conference loses a conference member, don’t blame the conference commissioner.
There’s nothing a conference commissioner can do when one of the league’s biggest members is talking to another league about leaving.
UCLA and USC to the Big Ten is about Fox Sports expanding its presence with its college football package, and that league has more to offer other TV broadcast partners craving live programming.
The immediate question is what will happen to the remaining Pac-12 schools and how it might affect the Big 12 or even the ACC.
The Pac-12 without UCLA and USC is just as catastrophic for that league as the Big 12 losing Texas and Oklahoma.
The irony is the entertainment manager hired by Pac-12 George Kliavkoff in May 2021 to bolster that league, which ostensibly disintegrated under its predecessor, Larry Scott.
Just as former Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby found out when UT and OU announced their plans to leave the league last summer, no one in these “positions of power” can do anything when it comes to decisions like these.
They don’t run these leagues; the university presidents and network managers are the ones in power.
FYI, The Big 12 just made a similar hiring as Kliavkoff by hiring former sports entertainment executive Brett Yormark as its new commissioner.
He’s probably a smart, capable man who will do just as well as most of these guys.
Yormark’s job is to keep the Big 12 viable enough to stay in the Power 5/college football playoff structure; to negotiate a broadcast rights contract with a major airline that wants to give the Big 12 hundreds of millions of dollars to broadcast Iowa State vs. West Virginia.
Kliavkoff originally discussed the Pac-12 expansion last summer, which sources say it would have done Been to TCU and Houston†
The Pac-12 historically does not want conference members who are religiously affiliated. Right now, ideological aspirations are out and millions of dollars are coming in.
One of the Pac-12’s biggest problems is its invisibility in the central and eastern time zones. Conference games against TCU and Houston would have provided some help.
The league said it wouldn’t expand “currently.”
The Pac-12 .’s Broadcast Deal expires in summer 2024† As of today, Kliavkoff would negotiate without USC and UCLA as conference members, some presence in Los Angeles, and nothing noteworthy east of Salt Lake City.
The Big 12’s media rights deal expires in the summer of 2025.
Perhaps there is some kind of affiliation/partnership between the remaining Big 12 and Pac-12 schools. It would be a split league, made up of teams from Seattle to Orlando.
With Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, Miami and Duke, among others, the ACC also fits somewhere in this discussion.
It’s all stupid of course. Also stupid: USC near Maryland in a women’s basketball game on Thursday night.
Recasting the big university athletics, Stupid has VIP Platinum Seats for almost every game.
That’s the only reason USC and UCLA to the Big Ten are making some $ense.
Right now, we’re numb to news like USC and UCLA moving east to the Big Ten.
The power college leagues hoard the best regional rivalries and brands to build their conferences into global superpowers winning the biggest national TV contracts.
It has created a situation where the recasting of the conference is more exciting, dramatic and at times more painful than the actual games.