If the Big 12 can pick up Oregon and Washington from the Pac-12, that would be significant.
With the Pac-12 falling apart with each passing day, the Big 12 could be adding more than just the Arizona schools, Colorado and Utah. Oregon and Washington are possibly on the table to move as well.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports reported on Tuesday afternoon the Big 12 is considering “adding Oregon and Washington to make the Big 12 an 18-team league, the largest in the FBS.” This comes in the wake that Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah could be heading there as well. Dodd also mentioned a Big 12/Pac-12 merger is a strong possibility. “Everything is on the table.”
Whatever conference ends up with Oregon and Washington will be getting two valuable assets.
Oregon and Washington in consideration to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12
With the Big Ten and the SEC about to become super leagues, it remains to be seen if a third super league of sorts will emerge. Frankly, it serves the Big 12 to be an aggressor in this situation. It might be losing Oklahoma and Texas to the SEC in a few seasons, but it will be gaining four other member institutions by this time next year in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF. Expand or die…
The Pac-12 is especially vulnerable to be poached right now, not only because USC and UCLA are leaving for the Big Ten in 2024, but its media rights deal expires the same year as well. Clearly, the Big 12, as well as other conferences, see value in what many of these Pac-12 schools have to offer. Unfortunately, things may get rough for the likes of Cal, Oregon State and Washington State.
The Cal-Stanford Bay Area pairing makes sense from a media market and academic standpoint. However, neither school has made as big of a financial commitment to the sport that drives the bus as other programs have: College football. With news of Oregon and Washington possibly leaving, will they have to drag little brother along, or are they destined for the Mountain West?
While Notre Dame wants to maintain its national independence above all else, the Big 12 potentially sweeping in and taking West Coast AAU universities with strong athletic programs in Oregon and Washington would be quite the arms race with the Big Ten. The Portland and Seattle media markets and big football brands out on the West Coast, what is not to love about the pair?
If the Big 12 wants to avoid becoming the Pac-12, then it must continue to be the aggressor here.
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