What I know and think...
Hard to envision any splashy move. Even SDSU feels very "meh" aside from I guess get the San Diego TV market, but its pretty lame that seems to be the only driving factor in expansion this round. Maybe there is some bigger fish to be had but that would obviously require poaching from another P5 conference and the Big 12 is the only real option there. Honestly, none of the remaining Big 12 feels splashy either. I'd rather the conference stand pat and change the name back to Pac-10 honestly.
The best case scenario continues to be bringing UCLA back and adding SDSU. Short of that adding SDSU and holding at 11. There is no benefit in adding any of these others who you can schedule any time you want anyway.
When Ucla experiences the November-March temperatures (and losing) in Columbus, Minneapolis, Chicago, Lincoln, State College, Madison, Bloomington, West Lafayette, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Iowa City, Jersey, and College Park, not to mention the 10-hour travel days to get there, Pullman will start looking pretty good.
Not a Kliavkoff fan. He got mud on his face by believing the liars at USC & UCLA and I don’t like his regular avoidance/vagueness when answering direct questions on issues of paramount importance to the fans. Perhaps he’d be better served as a cabinet member in DC: well, I can’t answer that, Umm, that’s confidential, I can’t recall……good grief.
Thanks for the thoughts and the update John.
GK's comments remind me of trying to get anything concrete out of the POTUS' Press Secretary? Has UCLA already assigned its future media rights to the B1G? If not, how could the B1G have concluded its new media deal?
I see staying at 10 teams as a short term play that in the long run will not 'save' the conference. As to expansion being dilutive, why in the long run is Oregon going to agree to share revenue equally with schools that have CFB/CBB Mountain West budgets?
John - I enjoy your writings very much. I generally agree with you that the Pac-12 has more leverage compared to the Big 12 in conference realignment than what many fans seem to give it credit for.
However, I think you’ve perplexingly underrated the Big Ten’s leverage in several recent posts. Even if the UC Regents pushed back on UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, there is simply no universe where the B1G simply stays at 15 schools with just adding USC while the Pac-12 goes on its merry way with 11 schools. The Big Ten would proceed to either (a) add a different Pac-12 school (such as Stanford or Oregon) in a minimal backfilling or (b) completely destroy the Pac-12 by adding all of Washington, Oregon, Stanford, Cal and UCLA. What’s not going to happen is the Pac-12 taking UCLA back and be at 11 schools without the Big Ten making another move.
I think the Big Ten is satisfied with simply adding USC and UCLA alone for the time being. However, the UC Regents interfering could have some extremely bad unintended consequences for the Pac-12 overall and reopen the Big Ten’s view on expansion entirely. The UC Regents are looking to protect Cal, which is much different than protecting the Pac-12 overall.
Have you asked George Kliavkoff and/or your other Pac-12 sources about the potential scenarios above? I just find it super naive to think that even if the UC Regents were to block UCLA’s move (which is already super naive in and of itself) that it wouldn’t actually end up being even *worse* for the Pac-12 overall (although maybe good for Cal if they can force themselves into the Big Ten, which might be the real goal for the UC Regents).
Personally what I see happening with UCLA is that they will sign a multi-sport scheduling deal with Cal that will include yearly payments. Could be perpetual home and homes with football, both basketballs, baseball and other sports.
Newsom will spin it as supporting UC Berkeley while keeping teams in California. UCLA will probably also at the same time announce canceling upcoming OOC games with Wisconsin and NW since these would be scheduled as conference games.
I think BYU might be on the radar for expansion. They definitely make sense from a viewership standpoint
Thanks JC. Great stuff. As someone who doesn't want to see UCLA to go.... Can you get your buddy Mr. Wilner in Bay Area to write a story about how many UCLA fans don't like this move one bit? It's not being covered here in LA (where I live) despite George K's public mention a month or so ago of alumni unhappiness. Alumni wishes are a vital element of any decision to leave. The local press is ignoring it and are fully on the Big 10 bandwagon.
I know it's all about the money regarding expansion. However, let's pretend it's about rivalries, geography, and common sense for the PAC12. UW has WSU, Arizona has ASU, Oregon has OSU. Why wouldn't Utah State and Colorado State be in the conversation? Both fine universities that admittedly would have to "rise" to the competition, but it's not like we're talking about Jacksonville State. Do either school bring millions of more eyeballs to tv screens? Probably not, but they bring sanity to this ridiculous search for perfect candidates.
If UCLA remains in the Pac I wonder how USC/B1G are going to react...
Is the B1G really going to want only one West coast school?
Will the USC brand take a big hit by always finishing 3-5 place in that conference?
Off topic... John have you reached out to Bo Nix parents? I'm sure there's an
interesting behind the scene story there.
I think it's unlikely that UCLA subsidizes Cal unless they have to. As far as butts in the seats, both programs are dealing with flat to declining attendance, with TV becoming more and more important. Heck even Colorado-Cal (a thoroughly forgettable game unless you like nightmares) in Boulder was sold out. And Stanford is starting to give away free tickets. In other parts of the country it is not like this.
Canzano… you have got to be the most likable Homer in media. Nice work here!
Thanks for your measured reporting that can be trusted. So many others are dredging up drama to fill their articles.
I’m interested to know if the Regents have any real power to block UCLA from leaving the Pac-12.
I would think that keeping the LA TV market in the Pac-12 media footprint would be in the financial interest of the California school system.
While losing USC is tough, adding a private school in a new TV market might help soften the blow. Baylor or TCU might be options.
You have never mentioned any school from New Mexico; too small from a viewership standpoint?