Talk of a post PAC-12 world was revived this week, when Dan Patrick announced that the San Diego Aztecs would be announced as a new member of the conference as early as this week. Patrick’s show on November 12th announced the news in something resembling a ‘toss-in’ piece of information.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) November 7, 2022
Quickly, the news was met with some skepticism. The Athletic’s Nichole Auerbach was quick to rebut the report saying the Pac-12 “has no plans to invite San Diego State or any team this week. Their first priority is to secure a media rights deal”.
Re: the report about the Pac-12 announcing the addition of SDSU as soon as this week, a source close to the situation tells @TheAthletic that the report is inaccurate.
It's been my understanding that the Pac-12 will do its media deal first before any conference expansion.
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) November 7, 2022
Still, the idea is not without logic because of their logistical position in Southern California and close proximity to other conference members. However, the PAC-12 could be out of luck, as the Big 12 could be in position to grab the Aztecs first.
Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark has been thinking big, the leverage of a new media rights deal that the PAC-12 has yet to secure, has provided Yormark some serious leverage that could include the potential of San Diego State, Fresno State, and most bizarre, Gonzaga. With Texas and Oklahoma bolting for the SEC in 2025 and possibly earlier, the Big 12 already has agreements with BYI, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF bound to the conference until 2031, leaving the PAC-12 potentially out of luck. From a conference that could explode into a college basketball supernova, this kind of expansion, if only talk, is big time, especially if the “Conference of Champions” goes dark in basketball.
Big 12 Basketball is already a juggernaut with unbelievable quality, amazing venues, and great fan engagement. Add in Houston, BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and who knows…at some point maybe a mix of Gonzaga, Arizona, SDSU and Memphis?? Will be on a tier entirely of its own.🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/KYQvUFw3Le
— Big XII Theory (@NewBigXII) November 10, 2022
The Oregon Ducks, and possibly California and Stanford were wildcards to join USC and UCLA in a move to the Big Ten, but that is no longer a possibility leaving 10 teams in the PAC-12. But eventually, the conference WILL need to expand as a matter of marketability and survival. For a while, there were loose conversations about a merger with the Big 12, but that conference went big as the PAC-12 lieutenants sat on their hands. But two schools do fit geographically and could be smart choices: Boise State in the North and Fresno State in the South.
BOISE STATE: 3 BCS/NY6 bowl wins
The other 59 G5 teams: 3 BCS/NY6 bowl wins.
— Boise State | Sports Report (@BoiseStateSR) July 13, 2021
The Broncos are making plenty of noise in the Mountain West this season and are a dark horse as a NY6 team. It’s more likely Boise State will be on the outside looking in as 7-1 Tulane, and 6-2 Cincinnati and UCF are likely to take a spot the Broncos would love to find a way into. At 5-4, Fresno State still has a shot at a bowl game after a disappointing 1-4 start to their 2022 campaign. All in all, these two teams make sense in a conference losing two historic PAC-10/12 anchors in USC and UCLA.
While the timing of this story remains in dispute, Dan Patrick “broke” some college football news that’s more likely than not to happen.