Plight of the Pac-4: Move or Rebuild

Oct 26, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff during Pac-12 Media Day at Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2022; San Francisco, CA, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff during Pac-12 Media Day at Pac-12 Network Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even mid-major conferences are getting increasingly involved in college football’s realignment drama.

Soon after the ACC accelerated its pursuit of Stanford and Cal, the American Athletic and Mountain West conferences will each deliver expansion presentations in the coming days to Washington State and Oregon State, the other two schools left without a conference after the dismantling of the Pac-12.

The expansions, if completed, would represent a sizable step up for either the MWC or AAC. 

The MWC and commissioner Gloria Nevarez have made no secret of their desire to become a more highly regarded entity. On Thursday, Nevarez appeared before a Washington State expansion advisory committee including university president Kirk Schulz and athletic director Pat Chun, in what was described as an “informing-gathering session.”

And after making history in 2021, when Cincinnati became the first non-Power Five team to reach the College Football Playoff, the AAC and commissioner Mike Aresco would also like a regular presence among college sports’ elite.

Oregon State and Washington State are located in more remote, smaller markets, but both schools’ football programs have been competitive on the field of late, have Power Five-level resources, and would likely aid either conference in future media rights negotiations. 

Preserving The Pac-12?

In the case of the Mountain West, discussions thus far about adding Oregon State and Washington State have also included bringing along the Pac-12 brand name and intellectual property — a far more complex endeavor, and one that could introduce both additional revenue and numerous legal hurdles.

The schools’ decision will rely in large part on Stanford and Cal. If the Bay Area schools ultimately reject the ACC or another conference — or are rejected — the momentum toward rebuilding the Pac-12 in some form will likely resurface.



Latest Player Notes

If that really was Drake Maye’s last game in Chapel Hill, it provided a fitting full-circle ending

UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2023 2:49 PMHere was Drake Maye in the middle of it all late Saturday night, in the middle of the kind ...

Shedeur Sanders closing in on CU Buffs single-season records through pain of all the sacks and hits

PUBLISHED November 13, 2023 at 12:38 p.m. | UPDATED: November 13, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.BOULDER — Shedeur Sanders is closing ...

Tenth Anniversary of Kick Six: Inside video, "Official" look at Historic Iron Bowl Shocker

Published Nov. 13, 2023, 6:00 a.m.By Creg Stephenson See and hear history behind Kick Six (excuse the ads, but this is ...

Goodman: Jimbo Fisher is out and Nick Saban wins again

Updated: Nov. 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.|By Joseph GoodmanJimbo Fisher is out at Texas A&M, which goes to show that even when a ...

Huard on Huskies: Why a win over No. 10 Oregon St would be huge

The No. 5 UW Huskies’ quest to make the College Football Playoff went through the two-time defending Pac-12 champions on ...

USC’s loss to Oregon exposes clear flaws in program-building up front

EUGENE, Ore. — In January, Lincoln Riley was on the sidelines at SoFi for the College Football Playoff championship game, ...

Two years after winning school-record 12 games, Brady Hoke out as Aztecs football coach

Brady Hoke is out as San Diego State’s football coach.SDSU released a statement Monday morning saying that Hoke is retiring, ...

Oregon’s Bo Nix named Pac-12 offensive player of the week for third time in 2023

Oregon’s Bo Nix earned his third weekly honor from the Pac-12.Nix, who went 23 of 31 for a season-high 412 yards with four ...

Oregon Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning mentioned as a leading candidate for Texas A&M job

Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning has been mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Jimbo Fisher as coach of the Texas ...

After ‘tough day,’ Boise State AD searches for a football coach; defensive analyst promoted

Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey was on the job for less than a week the last time he began a search for a football ...
See More Player Notes