Title: Big Ten and Big 12 Expand, Leaving Pac-12 at Risk of Extinction
In a groundbreaking announcement, the Big Ten conference has revealed that Oregon and Washington will be joining their ranks next August. Following this significant move, the Big 12 has also made strides in expanding their conference by adding Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah. While these developments are seen as a positive step for the Big Ten and Big 12, they have left the Pac-12 conference on the brink of extinction due to a lack of media rights agreements.
The Pac-12, known for its rich history and numerous NCAA championships, is now left with only four schools and faces an uncertain future. The expansion of the Big Ten and Big 12 has created super-conferences, pushing the Pac-12 further behind in the race for dominance in collegiate sports.
Oregon’s trustees were unanimous in their decision to join the Big Ten, and shortly after, Washington followed suit. This move will make the Big Ten an 18-team coast-to-coast conference, with four West Coast members. On the other hand, Arizona’s entry into the Big 12 was approved, and soon after, Arizona State and Utah also joined the conference. The Big 12 will become a 16-team conference spanning from Florida to Arizona.
The remaining schools in the Pac-12 are Stanford, California, Oregon State, and Washington State, who now face an uncertain future with their conference dwindling in size. This decline began with the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten last year. As a result, the Pac-12 explored a media rights deal with Apple, but Oregon officials ultimately decided to re-engage with the Big Ten due to discomfort with the tech giant’s involvement.
Unfortunately, the Ducks and Huskies will receive reduced payouts compared to current Big Ten members, USC, and UCLA. This financial disadvantage further highlights the challenges the Pac-12 is currently facing amidst its declining stature. The early extension of media rights deals between the Big 12 and ESPN and Fox left the Pac-12 with limited options, exacerbating their current situation.
Despite these difficulties, the Pac-12 remains committed to securing the best future for its member universities. Faced with potential extinction, the conference is actively exploring all possibilities to ensure its survival and preserve the legacy of its member schools.
As the landscape of collegiate sports continues to evolve, the Big Ten and Big 12’s expansions have undoubtedly reshaped the power dynamics among conferences. While the future may seem uncertain for the Pac-12, the conference is determined to forge ahead and find ways to remain relevant in the ever-changing world of collegiate athletics.
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