Thursday, August 26, 2021

Standing pat: Pac-12 decides it will not explore expansion

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff fields questions during the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Los Angeles.

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff fields questions during the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Los Angeles.


The Pac-12 said Thursday it will stand pat with its membership and not look to add schools to the 12-team conference, making it highly unlikely that the Big 12 schools being left behind by Texas and Oklahoma will find new Power Five homes.

The announcement comes two days after the Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten pledged to work together on governance issues and scheduling agreements in football and basketball.

The formation of a three-conference alliance was announced a little less than a month after the Southeastern Conference invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the league in 2025, which would coincide with the end of the Big 12's current television contract.

With Pac-12 expansion off the board, and both the ACC and Big Ten stating publicly that they are content with their current membership, the eight remaining Big 12 schools appear to have limited options beyond sticking together.

“The decision by Texas and Oklahoma led to significant instability in college athletics and I don't think instability is good for college athletics, particularly given all the other issues that are facing us right now,” Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff told The Associated Press. “I think you heard my colleagues in the ACC and Big Ten agree with that position that we need to bring a stability back to college athletics.”

The Pac-12 appears positioned to reap some of the benefits of expansion, such as games in the Central and Eastern time zones and exposure to new recruiting territory, through the alliance with the Big Ten and ACC.

Kliavkoff had openly talked recently about how the conference had a group of athletic directors and university presidents analyzing the possibility of expansion, and that their work would be finished soon.

Kilavkoff declined to say which schools had reached out to the Pac-12 about membership opportunities, or even how many.

He said part of creating the stability the alliance is aiming for included coming to a quick and transparent decision on expansion.

“We did the work necessary to determine that we were happy with our current makeup and that we think we can thrive with 12,” Kilavkoff said. “It was a unanimous vote of our presidents and chancellors to stay at 12.”


Doug Roberts 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Not a surprise. It's still too early with Big 12 contract expiring in 2025. I bet they change their minds a couple years from now.

Dale Rogers 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I think all three will change their minds in that timeframe.

Mike Barnhart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Okay, if the ACC and Big10 also stand pat, what’s better for KU: 1. move to Mountain West or AAC, continue dominating a conference in basketball and compete for championships in football or 2. Stay put in the Big 12 and add Cinci, Memphis, Houston, Temple or BYU?

Spencer Goff 11 months, 2 weeks ago

To answer this, lets first say that I do not think by 2025 these three conferences will have stood by.

But lets hypothetically say they did. It would be better to stand in the Big 12 and add the best teams from both the AAC and MWC to the roster, and/or BYU. If you trim the fat off both leagues, target specific market areas, specific athletic and academic programs, the new Big 12 is a lot stronger than people would want to admit.

There is also branding and contracts. The Big 12 name carries more weight than those two, even sans UT and OU. We would not want to join their league and restructure their deals, instead we would want them to roll into ours.

But for what its worth, I don't think we do anything until UT/OU pay up. At which point I think there is a lame duck season and teams go their separate ways.

Brett McCabe 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There is power in the alternative for KU. Yes, the BIG is our best option, but a super conference of the remaining AAC, MW and little 8, is a way to create the AFL of the 2020’s.

Mike Barnhart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

No, Big 12 needs to invite the top 2-4 gang schools and keep the others at a distance. No need to prop them up.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I hope KU gets an invitation to the Big10 (and to a lesser extent the ACC) but hope is not a strategy.

KU should assume it will not get an invitation and work to strengthen the Big12 until the day an invitation does, or does not, arrive.

If the league can expand to 16 teams by adding the next best eight schools available, then it can survive and still be considered a Power 5 conference (even if it’s the least powerful of the five). Better to be fifth than the AAC or Mountain West.

Invite the following eight teams to join as junior members for four years and go from there.

1) Univ. of Central Florida – Knights – 71,913 (enrollment) 2) Univ. of South Florida – Bulls – 50,830 3) Univ. of Houston – Cougars – 47,101 4) Univ. of Cincinnati – Bearcats – 46,798 5) BYU – Cougars - 35,615 6) Colorado State Univ. – Rams – 34,106 7) Boise State Univ. – Mustangs – 22,098 8) Univ. of Memphis – Tigers – 21,685

(FYI - Univ. of Kansas – Jayhawks – 27,619)

Divvy the conference up however you like (North, South, East, West) but I kinda like this.

East 1) Cincinnati 2) Iowa State 3) Kansas 4) Kansas State 5) Memphis 6) Central Florida 7) South Florida 8) West Virginia

West 1) Baylor 2) Boise State 3) BYU 4) Colorado St. 5) Houston 6) Oklahoma St. 7) TCU 8) Texas Tech

UNLV would be a good backup option. Who wouldn't like to go to Las Vegas to watch some sports?! Univ. of New Mexico is an option and good geographic fit.

Mike Barnhart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Go east: Cinci, Temple or Memphis or go west: BYU and Colorado State. Those schools are all the second biggest universities in their states and they all have large, passionate alumni populations. Most of the others are commuter schools with fifty-dollar endowments.

11 months, 2 weeks ago

lets do what tate says and just wait & sit on our hands til 2025. cuz "were good" until then. 🙄👌🤡😆

Rodney Crain 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Twinkle Twinkle little star

Wish a place to join not far

Nothing to offer to stop our fall

Except a team with a round ball

Wish a wish it was not so

No place to land we are low

Twinkle Twinkle little star

2025 is not that far

Spencer Goff 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't believe a word any of those three said. I don't know why the authors of articles like this think they will ever show their hand. We all know how that meeting went. They got together, shook hands, laughed deep "genuine" laughs, slapped each other on the back, smelled each others farts, but all the while all of them were thinking "these other two guys are morons, if I have to, they'll never know I am going to poach them!"

Nobody is moving on anything until they are either forced, and/or UT and OU have to pony up the money. I love the line early in this article that this decision somehow changes the odds a Big 12 team ends up anywhere, good or bad.

Robert Brock 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Relax. Be patient. KU is going to join the Big 10. Soon (meaning, in a couple of years).

Lee Stanford 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Most likely, Nebraska will never leave the B10. At the same time, should they stay in the B10, they will never return to preeminence in football. Should they return to the Big Twelve, they would re-open the "Texas pipeline" that contributed to some of the strongest teams they fielded. So there is at least some incentive for them to consider an offer.

I read elsewhere that Arizona and Arizona State could possibly be lured from the PAC-12 - an extreme long shot, I know.

As the three I just listed likely won't pan out, my expansion favorites remain Navy, Army, Cincinnati, UCF, Memphis, Houston, Air Force, and BYU. The top two of these would be Cincinnati and Houston if the league opted for a two-school expansion. For a four-school expansion, go for Cincinnati, Houston, UCF, and BYU.

KU still has a landing spot in the B10 or ACC should it come to that.

However long this plays out, it will be fun to watch.

Jeff Coffman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I find it very unlikely that KU will move without an incentive to destroy the conference. Right now OU and UT have to pay to exit and although their stake is in the ground of 2025, we all know that won't happen.

The Big 12 has positioned the wording in the media of OU and UT account for half of the contract for the Big 12, that is a negotiation tactic, to ensure the remaining 8 get the full payout. KU doesn't need the full payout as long as there is a plan for resuming their rights in a power conference. Likewise a couple of other schools. The truth of the matter, KU is in a good negotiating position, because of the remaining schools it has the strongest brand for various reasons. The Big Ten and the ACC would benefit from KU in their conference and so would the PAC 12. When it comes down to it, once the attorneys work through some of the fine print, KU will move on to, what I hope are greener pastures. I just wish it was faster.

Randy Bombardier 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm in total agreement with Karen. Thats every team of interest although I like SMU because Texas won't like it. Also like UNLV option. Can go there and lay some down on the game.

Rodney Crain 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ronaldo is back with United all is right with the world again!!!

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