The Pac-12 may officially be dead — it’s at least dead as we know it — and boy did it happen fast. Realignment chatter really got going once again over the past couple of weeks, starting with Colorado making the jump to the Big 12. In hindsight, they saw the writing on the wall.
Arizona, Arizona State and Utah followed Colorado to the Big 12 this week.
Sources: The Big 12's presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Friday night to admit Arizona State and Utah. They did the same last night for Arizona. All three at on the way, pending a Board of Trustees vote in Utah to formalize their move.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 5, 2023
Oregon and Washington followed USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, creating a true national conference.
Sources: Oregon and Washington have been officially voted into the Big Ten by the league’s presidents. Announcement coming soon.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 4, 2023
The moves leave Cal, Stanford, Washington State and Oregon State out in the cold. So now what? The Pac-12 currently stands at just four members for the 2024 season. Do they raid the Mountain West? Does the Mountain West simply absorb those four teams? Could they go independent? So many questions remain.
The destruction of at least one major conference felt inevitable. Rumors of these ‘super-conferences’ have been floating around for years, and things got thrown into overdrive once Texas and Oklahoma made the jump to the SEC. Once USC and UCLA made the move to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 had major, major issues.
College football as we know it has changed forever, and it’s far from done. Not only do we have the remnants of the Pac-12 to figure out, but there’s been plenty of unrest in the ACC — particularly from Florida State.
So the Big 12 now stands at 16. The Big Ten now has 18. The SEC will move to 16. Why? Money of course. Tradition and regions have been tossed aside as schools chase more lucrative TV deals.
Another consequence may be the format of the expanded College Football Playoff, which was set to debut in 2024.
Two CFP commissioners tell @YahooSports that the 6+6 expansion format should be re-examined (not surprising).— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 5, 2023
Starting in 2024, 6 highest-ranked conference champs get at-large spots & next 6 highest-ranked teams get at-large spots.
What a mess — and it feels like it’s only going to get messier.
The Pac-12/Mountain West situation is probably the next domino to fall, but keep an eye on the ACC as they now try to figure out a next step.
ACC presidents were scheduled to meet tonight to further discuss the league’s latest expansion plan, sources tell @YahooSports.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) August 5, 2023
Recent Big 12 acquisitions likely ended any Westward expansion plans. The league seriously explored adding 5-7 Pac-12 schools.