College Football: Pac 12 needs ‘others’ for a viable future


At least in college football, the ‘Conference of Champions’ has been limping for some time. Although the moniker has debatable credibility, it is used (and not just by Bill Walton) to define the Pac-12.

The biggest problem for the Pac-12 has not been failing to win championships. It has been evaporating interest in Pac-12 football. The slippage became a tipping point that led to decisions by USC and UCLA to move to the Big Ten.

Since the exit decision by the two most high-profile programs in the conference, the Pac’s future has been murky. It still is.

Despite many assurances, that the new Pac-12 would continue to be a viable Power Five conference, the league’s negotiations for new media deals have indicated otherwise. A new deal was predicted to be finished two months ago. That date moved, to be announced by the end of June. Now late July is looking more probable.

About a week ago, multiple media reports stated Big 12 was close to adding Arizona and Colorado. The Pac-12 response to more attrition was a claim its new media deal would match or exceed the current Big 12 deal.

To fulfill such an optimistic goal, the Pac-12 must add new teams, with or without the loss of the Buffs and the Wildcats. The first choice has been long rumored to be San Diego State. A few days ago SDSU informed the Mountain West of its intention to move to another conference. There is a Mountain West exit fee amount for SDSU to resolve, but at this point, the Aztecs appear headed out the door.

SDSU asked the Mountain West for a one-month extension,

"given unforeseen delays involving other collegiate athletic conferences beyond our control."

It appears SDSU does not have complete confidence in the Pac-12 and wants to keep its options open for an alternative move to the Big 12. It has been said the Big 12 is choosing patience, waiting for the Pac-12 to continue to slide, before taking Colorado and Arizona, and possibly SDSU., along with a fourth team

Does college football need the Pac-12?

There are two answers. They are yes, and not much. If the Big Ten makes a move for Oregon and Washington, and the Big 12 adds Colorado and Arizona. the remaining Pac-12 schools need a stable conference. Along with SDSU, the Pac-12 has been linked to SMU, Boise State, and even Colorado State.

Next. The Vols a 'B' team or not?. dark

The obstacle beyond the control of Pac-12 executives is that too many people on the west coast are not college football fans.