All this conference realignment mumbo-jumbo has almost been too much to keep up with. The Pac was putting together a second-half comeback while my coffee was brewing this morning, and by the time I had the cup of Joe down, the Pac looked to be on life support again.
Here’s a timeline of the chaos that has been conference realignment, and as I’m writing this, it’s barely even lunchtime. We’ll update this throughout the day as more is sure to change and more rumors will most certainly swirl.
12:30 p.m.: With Colorado, Oregon and Washington leaving, Utah and Arizona State seem to be looking for their exit strategy now. Brett McMurphy reported both schools are “showing interest” in joining the Big 12. It may not be mutual, though, as McMurphy also reported the Big 12 is “exploring its options.” Arizona, which has the same board of regents as ASU, has already applied to join the Big 12. Colorado announced it was leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12 last week. The addition of those four Pac schools would put the Big 12 at 16 members next year.
11:40 a.m.: Brett McMurphy reported Oregon and Washington are, in fact, leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the two schools are expected to formally apply for membership Friday.
This contradicted the reports from earlier in the morning that made it seem as if there was still hope of a comeback for the Pac. With the addition of Oregon and Washington putting the Big Ten at 18 schools, McMurphy also reported that the Big Ten still isn’t finished, looking to reach 20 schools to double the conference’s namesake. Eighteen members in a conference would already be the largest conference ever in college football, according to McMurphy.
10 a.m.: McMurphy reported that the Pac-12 was unable to get its media rights deal done, which is probably what led to the report above of Oregon and Washington jumping ship. The media rights deal is with Apple to stream all Pac-12 games. The deal expires at the end of the week, according to McMurphy.
9:20 a.m.: Sportico released an article reporting that Florida State is working with JPMorgan Chase to “explore how the school’s athletic department could raise capital from institutional funds, such as private equity.” This came in the midst of FSU being vocal about its displeasures with the ACC earlier this week.
8:45 a.m.: Reports looked hopeful for the Pac-12 for the first time in over a week. The Pac might manage to stay together and Arizona president Bobby Robbins appeared committed to the Pac after Arizona seemed destined for the Big 12, according to McMurphy.