Last night, it was reported that Colorado is leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12.
This is the beginning of what I think will be several years of conference realignment that I published a POTENTIAL roadmap for on June 4th.
A lot has changed in the last seven plus weeks but at the same time the fundamentals seem the same to me. Let's walk through what is likely to happen now for the Pac-12 and Big 12 in Realignment.
Let me be clear. I DO NOT have sources. This is my opinion. I am writing this from a logic and experience-based perspective. I believe people will act in their own self-interests, so rather than sources that do not seem to understand that. I will work this from a logical view.
Step 1- Colorado formally leaves and joins the Big 12
I believe this will be done by Friday at the latest.
Step 2- Another team from Pac-12 will join Colorado next week.
Colorado is not coming alone. The real question is who is coming with them and how many. THIS is really the question to monitor this week.
Let's set the odds on both things.
How many teams will leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12?
The only question is two or four, I think. I THINK Arizona will be next, but others are reporting a mystery team. There are many rumors that it IS NOT Arizona but Oregon or Washington.
Beyond Colorado and Arizona, it probably depends on the Big10 who is next or if there are two more to join the Big 12.
I THINK the Big 12 MAY only add Colorado and Arizona. Frankly Arizona St. and Utah NEED to engage quickly to get their spot.
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Step 3- Teams from the Pac-12 will join the Big10 at likely a less than a full share
I think the vultures will be coming for the Big10 despite their public statements that they have no interest.
If Colorado and Arizona go, I think the negotiations will get serious. Ask yourself this. Would Washington and Oregon and Stanford and Cal be better off in a Big 10 at a 50-70% share than they would in a Pac-12 (Pac-10?) conference that adds SMU and Tulane or San Diego St.? The answer is yes.
Would the Big10 view the travel/ logistics costs to be better if there were six members on the Pacific Coast that could be set-up in a pod like structure where they played 75-80% of their non-revenue sports contests inside their pod. I THINK the answer would be yes.
Again, the question here is two or four teams. I think California will leverage political power to make sure it is four.
IF the Big 10 DOES NOT add anyone. I think Washington and Oregon go to the Big 12.
Step 4- Pac 2/4 join Mountain West or Pull the best of the Mountain West
What happens next may hinge on if the Pac has Arizona St. and Utah with Wash St. and Oregon St. If it is JUST WSU and OSU, they ask to join the Mountain West.
If it is ASU, UU, WSU, and OSU there may be a window for those four to get the four to six best of the Mountain West. Technically, the leagues may merge as the Pac West.
If it is ASU, UU, WSU, OSU, AND Stanford and Cal there may be a window for those six to get the four to six best of the Mountain West. Maybe they keep the Pac-12 label then.
We can revisit this IF we end up in this spot.
Here is where I think the Pac-12 schools are most likely to end up
Well, that is what I THINK is next. It could be wrong in 48 hours. This again is just the early steps in a multiyear plan I laid out here.
Please comment below.