We'll know fairly soon if the Pac-12 is interested in adding teams or not.
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an interview published Thursday that the conference will decide if it's expanding "in the next couple of weeks." The Big 12 — which currently has eight remaining teams after the impending departures of Oklahoma and Texas — is the only Power Five conference with fewer schools.
In response to a question about conference realignment, Kliavkoff said the conference has had "initial meetings" with schools interested in joining the conference. He then said the conference would be making its decision regarding expansion within weeks, not months.
I think we’re really, really happy with the 12 that we have in the league. The opportunity to revisit that following Texas and Oklahoma has certainly presented itself. I am not actively poaching any school or convincing anyone to leave their existing conference, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t listening to schools that wanted to go in the Pac-12, and we’ve had a lot of them reach out. Probably all of the ones you would expect and several you’d be surprised by.
“We have taken initial meetings with everyone that has expressed an interest. We have a working group … who are together deciding on what to recommend … At the end of the day, they’ll make the decision about whether or not to offer admission to the Pac-12 to any other schools.”
Who would fit in the Pac-12?
The Pac-12's footprint reaches as far east as Colorado. The Buffaloes joined the league in 2011 when it left the Big 12 along with Nebraska, which went to the Big Ten. Utah and Colorado joining the league a decade ago made sense because of their proximity to the schools that then made up the Pac-10. But there's no obvious geographical candidates to join the conference right now unless the conference wants a school or schools from a non-Power Five conference.
While not impossible, it seems unlikely. The furthest west school in the Big 12 is Texas Tech. And Lubbock, Texas, isn't exactly pacific.
Adding Tech and other Big 12 schools in Texas like Baylor and TCU would expand the conference into one of the largest states in the country. And it would certainly lead to the downfall of the Big 12. But it's hard to see how that really benefits the conference, even if Baylor's men's basketball team is the reigning national champions.
At least we'll get an answer to Pac-12 expansion in the near future. For now, anyway. Given how sudden OU and UT's move to the SEC was, finality never really exists in modern college athletics.
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