Is San Diego State to the PAC-12 Reality or a Mirage?


Is San Diego State to the PAC-12 Reality or a Mirage?


Is San Diego State to the PAC-12 Reality or a Mirage?


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. 

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”. 

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.

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. 

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. 


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