Review of potential options for a Pac-12-Big 12 merger

USC and UCLA left the Pac-12 in 2024. There’s not much conference commissioner George Kilavkoff can do about that now. He and his remaining 10 schools are now fighting for their lives.

We previously checked out the Buffs’ potential opportunities, but it’s becoming clear the Pac-12 will have to ask for a savior unless they want a Mountain West merger. The Big 12 is probably the best choice for most of the remaining Pac-12 schools – with the exception of the potential Big Ten for Oregon and (perhaps) Washington – and the old Colorado conference also enjoys the freedoms that accompany having the upper hand.

Some of the possible scenarios for a Pac-12-Big 12 merger were reviewed by CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. First, however, Dodd thinks not much will happen until the independent Notre Dame Fighting Irish takes action. But after that, Dodd and his industry source presented the next option, which has the Big 12 poaching of the Pac-12 (h/t CBS Sports):

Take the Arizona schools (add Phoenix Market) Take Arizona and Mountain Schools (Colorado and Utah) Attempt an almost complete merger with the Pac-12 by adding Arizona Schools, Mountain Schools, Oregon and Washington

Then Dodd hatched a “mutual destruction” plan that includes a 16-team, two-division conference. In the West, it has Pac-12 Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Washington. The Eastern Division would then essentially be a smaller Big 12: Baylor, BYU, Cincinnati, Houston, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech and UCF.

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Valerie J. Wallis