Pac-12 Expansion Dead, Big 12 Still Alive

Larry Scott couldn't find a way to make a proposed Pac-16 work yet.

Last last night, the Pac-12 issued a statement saying that it has chosen not to expand:

After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.

To me, that means two things:

  1. Larry Scott couldn't come to an agreement with Texas over the Longhorn Network, and therefore
  2. He couldn't get the votes from Pac-12 presidents to expand with just the Oklahoma schools.

Exactly like in the SEC, Scott needed nine yes votes to bring more schools into his conference. I'll bet Colorado and Utah were no votes, as they don't want to be sequestered in a division away from the southern California schools. If two others balked on academic grounds, like maybe Stanford and Cal, then that's how a deal dies.

Oklahoma, for its part, says it will pursue "conference stability". That means the Oklahoma schools moving to the SEC is very unlikely. The Big 12 surviving also means that Missouri is not likely to make the move to the SEC. All reports of that deal were that it was contingent upon the Big 12 falling apart.

Realignment isn't completely over just yet. The Big 12 probably needs to add another school or three (like BYU) to get to 10 or 12 members. The Big East also needs to get more football members. As for the SEC's quest for a 14th school, I don't know. Maybe Mike Slive revisits West Virginia's application. Maybe he raids the ACC. Maybe he stays on 13 for a while.

The one thing we do know is that we're not yet going to have a superconference on the West Coast. This changes everything.

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