Future of Pac-12 ‘largely dependent on how aggressive Big Ten gets’

How soon will the Big Ten try to add Oregon and Washington?

The Action Network’s college football insider Brett McMurphy went on The Solid Verbal College Football Podcast to discuss the Pac-12’s media rights deal and conference realignment. 

Based on his discussions behind the scenes, McMurphy says the future of the Pac-12 hinges on how soon the Big Ten makes a move to add Oregon and Washington. 

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with the Big Ten,” he said. “From the people I talk to, they tell me that expansion is not dead. Now does that mean the Big Ten is going to add somebody next week or next month? No. But I think within the next two or three years or sooner, that they will. The future of the Pac-12 is largely dependent on how aggressive the Big Ten gets. I think they’re going to be very aggressive because I still think their plan never was just add UCLA and USC and leave them on an island. They want to bring in more Pac-12 schools.”

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is currently negotiating a new media right deal for the conference. How much money Kliavkoff can get for each school will play a crucial role in what the Pac-12 looks like moving forward, according to McMurphy. 

“The Pac-12 schools I think, at the end of the day, you don’t even have to give them truth serum, I think they would honestly say and I would believe this, they want to stick together,” McMurphy said. “But they don’t want to stick together if the amount of money that they’re going to make in media rights is five or ten million less than whatever the Big 12 and ACC schools are making…Everyone is waiting to see what money George Kliavkoff presents to the presidents.”

Washington State president Kirk Schulz told The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner last week: “my sense is we need to get [the deal] done in March — in mid-March, hopefully,” when he was asked about the timeline on the media rights negotiations. 

That means financial information on potential new deals should start to become public soon. And from there, dominoes could start to fall…

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