Pac-12 officially makes decision on expansion
When Texas and Oklahoma announced they would leave for the SEC, it was assumed by just about everyone, that it would mean another crazed round of college football realignment.
It appears as though, that will not be happening. At least not at the highest levels of the sport. Just days after the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 unofficially announced their "alliance" the Pac-12 became the first school to publicly announce it will not be expanding.
Here is what they said, from an official e-mail from the conference:
Following consultation with our Presidents, Chancellors and Athletic Directors, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to not pursue expansion of our membership at this time. This decision was made following extensive internal discussion and analysis, and is based on the current competitive strength and cohesiveness of our 12 universities. It is also grounded in our confidence in our ability as a conference to best support our student-athletes and to grow and thrive both academically and athletically.
Honestly, if you've followed the tea leaves this really isn't that surprising.
For all the hysteria following Texas and Oklahoma's decision, if you listen to the Aaron Torres Podcast - and if you don't, shame on you - I was adamant that it seemed unlikely that there would be any great rush for other conferences to add the remaining Big 12 teams. The bottom line was that the biggest reason why those two schools left in the first place was because the television networks basically told them that the other eight schools held no value to them.
It made no financial sense to add them.
And Tuesday's announcement of the "alliance" between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 basically confirmed that - even if the league's messaging was clunky. While most members in the media, had the cliché, echo chamber response of "what was the point of that call" if you actually listened to the messaging, it was clear that the plan for the alliance went deeper than some half-baked scheduling idea.
Instead, what it was about was about wrestling some of the power in college football away from the SEC, but more importantly, bringing stability to college football. It was about not sneaking behind each other's backs, not courting other schools and presenting a united front for their 40+ schools.
I talked about it a lot on today's Aaron Torres Pod (which you can listen to below). But if you like college football the way it is, the alliance is a good thing for college football.