USC and UCLA deciding to join the Big Ten has sent the Pac-12 into a frenzy, and it could result in four additional teams leaving the storied conference. Sources indicate to WildcatAuthority that there will be significant discussions centered around Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah making their way to the soon-to-be-altered Big 12 Conference. VIP subscribers can read the latest updates on those discussions by clicking here.
As WildcatAuthority explained, the Pac-12 is looking to make good out of a bad situation. However, the members within are looking to do the same, which doesn’t necessarily mean great news for the Conference of Champions.
“Most of the conversations that have taken place within member schools have not dealt with saving the Pac-12, but rather where else the schools could end up,” WildcatAuthority wrote. “This is all a fluid situation and things can change, but the general belief is that the Pac-12 will be difficult to save. Oregon and Washington are both actively looking to get out of the conference, Stanford is rumored to be a serious candidate to join the Big 10 with Notre Dame, and the other conferences such as the Mountain West don’t have the market impact to keep the Pac-12 as a serious conference.”
The Big 12 has already decided to add BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston, set to join the conference in 2023, in response to the departure of Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC. Adding four current Pac-12 teams could take the Big 12 to 16 teams, minus Texas and Oklahoma, and match the 16 teams that the SEC and Big Ten will have going forward.
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When reports began to trickle in that USC and UCLA could be headed to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 was described as blindsided by the development. Once it all became official, the Pac-12 released a statement saying that it was “disappointed and shocked.” ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said that the conference’s leadership is justified in feeling double-crossed, but that it’s also the reality of the current state of college football.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Herbstreit said on Mad Dog Unleashed via Sirius XM Radio. “But this is the world we’re living in. NIL is out of control, the transfer portal’s out of control. There’s no rules and regulations. There’s nobody that’s in charge and enforcing anything. It’s the wild, wild west, people doing anything they want. So even when you make a quote-unquote gentleman’s agreement with this new alliance, you almost feel like as you’re shaking hands with this gentleman’s agreement and the other guy has his hands behind his back with his fingers crossed.”