Realistic (and not) redeployment opportunities for CSU after USC, UCLA shakeup

The Pac-12 is on the move after USC and UCLA bolt for the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 is on the move after USC and UCLA bolt for the Big Ten.

Colorado State to the Pac-12?

Of course, that’s the first thing Rams fans thought on Thursday when the shocking news of USC and UCLA secure the Pac-12 for the Big Ten touch.

It’s almost certainly the first set of moves as another massive shift is taking place in college sports just a year after Texas-Oklahoma’s massive move to the SEC.

What about CSU then? The Rams were a complete non-factor when the Big 12 appeared to be expanding last year. The AAC took an interest in CSU after losing some of its top members.

While the Jay Norvell hire keeps the football needle moving in the right direction, it’s still half a decade (or more, really) of mediocre to downright bad football. The Rams were bad at football at the worst possible time. Just like the last round, you’ll have to search very hard to find CSU as a potential addition to a major league right now.

Also, remember that CSU currently has no leadership. Joyce McConnell was paid to leave and there is an interim president. It’s a safe bet that Tony Frank, who sold hard to the Big 12 years ago, is back behind the scenes at recasting.

Here’s a look at some of the scenarios that could be in play. These range from fairly plausible to not that much, but hey, who knows what is and isn’t realistic these days?

Scenario 1: Pac-12 Raids Mountain West

The league is on livelihood after its two anchors (and largest media market), USC and UCLA, bolted for the Big Ten.

A year ago, everyone thought the Big 12 was dead when Oklahoma and Texas left for the SEC, but that league together scrambled the expansion out of the AAC (plus BYU). Could the Pac-12 do the same? The league released a statement Friday saying it would “examine all expansion options”.

The Mountain West is the logical (and probably only) place to go out to raid the Big 12. San Diego State is a basketball power with a new football stadium and would help restore some stability in Southern California.

UNLV doesn’t have the sporting success, but hey, it’s Vegas. Boise State, of course, always raises its hand for attention. And what about CSU? Does it make sense to link CSU and CU together? CSU should be making a hard sales pitch now

plausibility: Not unrealistic. I’m not sure if the Mountain West schools move the needle much, but in desperation weird things happen. Unfortunately for CSU, the Rams would not be first on the call list for the Pac-12.

FOOTBALL NEWS: ABC will broadcast Colorado State’s 2022 football opener in Michigan

Scenario 2: While Pac-12 implodes, others collect scraps

Their jaws were still on the ground Thursday with the shocking news of the departures of the USC and UCLA as rumblings began that the Big 12 could move to grab part of the Pac-12 to A) the Big 12 and B) land the KO on the Pac -12.

Can Colorado go back and take Utah with you? Maybe the Arizona schools would be in play? I’m sure someone is interested in Stanford’s prestige. It is also reported that Oregon and Washington are trying to escape.

The Pac-12 could die. That can leave some leftovers for someone to grab (think: Oregon State and Washington State types). That someone could be the Mountain West.

plausibility: Again, not unrealistic. Oregon and Washington are now the hub of the Pac-12. If they find an exit, it’s curtains.

Scenario 3: CSU to Big 12, Again?

Can the “CSU to the Big 12” talk start a third time? Looks like we’re headed for mega conferences with the Big Ten and SEC that may (probably?) add more.

Could the Big 12 decide it needs even more? If so, would the Rams be back in the mix?

plausibility: Unlikely. If the Big 12 moves again, there’s little reason to believe that CSU will be firmly in the mix after being ignored a year ago.

More: CSU Football Recruitment Rankings: Where Are The Rams Piling Up In The Mountain West?

Scenario 4: Does Gonzaga play a role?

Now we venture to the abstract theory. Have patience with me in this one. Let’s say the Mountain West can keep its current group together. Could the league make an effort to add Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s?

They are, of course, non-footballers. But with the Pac-12 as it is, the Mountain West is probably close to a football league and if you add those teams it would dwarf the Pac-12 as a basketball league. The MW could be the most important “western” conference. It’s possible that the Pac-12 thinks the same and goes for a Gonzaga flight.

plausibility: Doesn’t seem very likely. Anyway, we can dream of a basketball league with CSU, San Diego State, Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, New Mexico and UNLV.

Scenario 5: CU to the mountain west?

This one is mainly for fun. Let’s say the Pac-12 implodes and the Big 12 says, “no, we’re good,” to Colorado. Well, there aren’t many other options for those buffs unless the Big Ten wants them for some reason. They should go to tiny Mountain West and be forced to play against CSU every year.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

plausibility: Unlikely but very funny.

More: CSU Football Recruiting Tracker: George Washington Receiver Silas Evans Picks Rams Over Colorado

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This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Could Pac 12 Watch Colorado State, Mountain West After Big Ten Attack?

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