Issues in the Pac-12 have been a major talking point in college football this week. The conference has struggled to make inroads on a national scale, being left out of its second College Football Playoff this past season. CBS Sports‘ Dennis Dodd wrote a column revealing that many coaches and administrators at member schools aren’t thrilled.
Another major issue for the league is the fledgling Pac-12 Networks. While the Big Ten and SEC have launched pretty successful linear networks, with the help of FOX and ESPN respectively, the Pac-12 struck out on their own and…may have struck out. Now, the league is trending behind its Power Five rivals in revenue.
Arizona State president Michael Crow is cited as one of commissioner Larry Scott’s supporters. However, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson was quoted in Dodd’s piece.
“The gap between us and the other [leagues] continues to grow,” he said. “We’ll be competitively disadvantaged even moreso. … That’s real money in terms of being able to compete, support facilities, support coaches and support programs.”
It wasn’t long ago that the Big 12 seemed like the most vulnerable Power Five league. Now, one college football writer thinks they may be in a position for a power move, to hurt the Pac-12.
The Athletic’s David Ubben thinks the Big 12 should considering Pac-12 schools Arizona and Arizona State.
In responding to Dodd’s column, which got a lot of traction earlier in the week, Ubben floated the idea. Via Twitter:
Big 12 would be wise to begin cuddling up to Arizona, Arizona State with expansion in mind before leagues begin negotiating their new TV deals. The fissures in the Pac-12 have never been wider. https://t.co/O8vMdnx5Io
— David Ubben (@davidubben) May 15, 2018
This would be an interesting return blow. In an earlier round of conference expansion, the Pac-12 nabbed Colorado out of the Big 12.
The two schools would be the Westernmost outposts for the Big 12. However, they are closer to Texas Tech, at least, than West Virginia is to much of the league. Arizona to West Virginia in-conference trips would truly be something, though.
This is all very hypothetical, and there is no real indication that the Arizona schools, or any Pac-12 member, are looking to leave. However, if the Big 12 wants to shift the balance a bit, it would be quite the power move.