Pac-12 Expansion: What Schools Should The Conference Target?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Expansion: What Schools Should The Conference Target?


Pac-12 Expansion: What Schools Should The Conference Target?


1. Oklahoma

US News & World Report University Ranking: 133
Enrollment: 28,000
Media Market: 44

Pac-12 Expansion Fit: You might notice that Texas isn’t on this list. There are a few reasons for that.

Texas makes gobs and gobs and gobs of money, and it might be just fine hanging as a Big 12 school even if the league loses some of its teams to the Pac-12.

Texas would have no issues remaining the richest athletic department while the Big 12 raids other leagues for schools like Houston, UCF and Cincinnati.

The other prevailing thought is that it’s a better fit for the Big Ten fit if it wants to leave – that was on the table a ten years ago – more than it is for the Pac-12.

But Oklahoma is different.

Remember, historically, beyond the great football rivalry, Texas and OU aren’t tied at the hip. Oklahoma was Big 8 and Texas was Southwest Conference before the Big 12 was formed in 1996. Texas wasn’t necessarily part of the discussion back in 2011 when OU was really, really, really close to bolting for the Pac-12.

This is the first very quiet call the Pac-12 needs to make. If the desire is there to open up the talks again, welcome to the rock of a program that would cause an avalanche.

As great at Oklahoma has been sports-wise in the Big 12, the league is still owned by Texas. That’s the anchor tenant.

It might be USC’s Pac-12, but Oklahoma would be something different thanks to the geography and style. All of a sudden, the school would take on a new profile, the region would would have a different sports look, and the Pac-12 would love, love, LOVE to have a football program this big in the central time zone.

Of course it would be a big-time long shot, and it would take something crazy, cool, and lucrative to get Oklahoma to even think about this, but that’s what George Kliavkoff appears to be all about.

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