Pac-12, Big 12 conference realignment: separating fact and fiction

It was a bombshell development in the world of college sports.

Last week, USC and UCLA announced that they will be bolting the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024. And just like that, the landscape of college football had shifted dramatically.

Of course, one of the biggest questions in the aftermath of this development is what happens to the Pac-12 and, particularly, Utah?

There’s been plenty of speculation, rumors and reports since then, from the demise of the Pac-12; to the Utes and other Pac-12 members joining the Big 12; to merge between the Pac-12 and Big 12; to a “loose partnership” between the Pac-12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

When will things be resolved? Who knows? Maybe sooner than we think. But separating fact from fiction is not always easy.

Over the weekend, there was a report that the Big 12 would be meeting with Pac-12 members Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State Tuesday.

However, a high-ranking Utah official refuted that report Tuesday in the strongest of terms, telling the Deseret News that the suggestion that Utah is meeting with the Big 12 is “absolutely false.”

The source added that Utah “is tethered closely and strongly aligned with Pac-12 leadership and league members.”

Ah, conference realignment. The wheel keeps spinning. When it stops, nobody knows.

In case you missed it

Meanwhile, overshadowed by realignment news, was the commitments of a few recruits to Utah’s football program — safety Randon Fontenette, safety Johnathan Hall and running back Michael Mitchell.

numbers game

$344 million: The Pac-12’s media rights revenue in the 2021 fiscal year.

$680 million: The Big Ten’s media rights revenue in the 2021 fiscal year.

From the archives

extra points

  • What next for Utah and other Pac-12 schools in conference realignment? (Desert News)
  • Are super conferences inevitable? Where will Utah end up when realignment music stops? (Desert News)
  • This Utah gymnast is transferring to the SEC (Deseret News)
  • Another hostile takeover has the Pac-12 reeling (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

Comments from Deseret News readers

USC and UCLA are clearly looking to the future and believe the Age of the Football Superconference has arrived. While they have traditionally been the marquee programs of the Pac-12, their brands have taken hits recently. They obviously think they need to make the move before more of the luster wears off. But who would have dreamed that any Pac-12 members would, in not much more than a decade since the last expansion, decide to leave for greener pastures? Certainly not all the Ute fans who crowed for years about the power and prestige of their Pac-dom.

– I said that

The Pac-12 sure feels dead to me. Though the Big 12 looked dead with the exit of Texas and Oklahoma. Pac-12 management botched expansion. The better remaining schools probably won’t have confidence in the Pac-12’s ability to manage this. I wouldn’t blame the U. for jumping ship.

— RunningAway

Look. The U. is going to be just fine. Take the U. less than 72 hours to have the Big 12 as a floor. Disney is not going to kill off the ACC or the Pac-12. Yes Disney has the P2 lock, stock and barrel and that is where the riches are but the ACC and Pac-12 will still be making a decent living until they get the call. There is a lot in play, like where is CBS going to make it’s mark? Big-12 perhaps. Is Jeff Bezos Prime going to come in play? I would think NBC/Notre Dame would all be for this Disney inspired ‘loose arrangement.’ Would not be the first time Notre Dame has turned down a huge amount of money to be who they are. That is called integrity. It will all work out fine for the U. no matter the changing landscape.

— desertdog

up next

Sept. 3 | 5 p.m. | Football | vs. Florida | @Gainesville, Florida | ESPN

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.