Conference realignment has taken over college athletics news over the past week. The Pac-12 has been picked apart as the Big 12 added Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah while the Big Ten grabbed Oregon and Washington.
It doesn’t sound like the news will end soon as the final Pac-12 schools Cal, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State need to figure out a plan for the 2024-25 season. The four remaining schools have been referred to as the “Pac-4” over social media.
Each school put out a statement over the weekend expressing their disappointment in the departing schools and their hope for finding the best situation for their institutions. Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios.
ACC could add Stanford, Cal
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on Tuesday morning that the ACC Presidents met but they did vote on adding Cal or Stanford. The league is still considering the move.
Sources: ACC Presidents met this morning for exploratory call on Cal and Stanford. As expected, no vote was taken. The league is “still evaluating” the potential decision.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 8, 2023
The ACC has been looked upon as the next conference to get picked apart. Every school is locked into their grant of rights deal that ends in 2036 but seven of the schools are trying to find a loophole to get out of the deal. Clemson, Florida State and Miami are linked with the SEC for being the top programs but it’s the Seminoles that seem to be rushing out of the conference.
“It’s not a matter of if we leave [the ACC], but how and when we leave,” FSU trustee Drew Weatherford said in a public meeting last week.
Pac-4 merging with Mountain West or AAC?
Cal, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State may have to merge with the Mountain West or the American Athletic Conference. The Mountain West would be the best option for proximity reasons and for the value of the programs in that conference. MW schools like Boise State, San Diego State, UNLV, etc. have been linked with Pac-12 expansion for what seems like forever but this move could keep the remaining Pac-12 schools relevant.
Big 12 not finished poaching
Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority reported that the Big 12 was in early talks with Oregon State and San Diego State. Now while The Athletic countered the original report saying they weren’t in talks, it’s something to monitor.
With the various reports from the national media, it’s hard to determine which reports have substance to them.
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