The Big 12 has a potential opportunity to strike a deal with some P5 teams after the announcement that UCLA and USC are leaving for the Big 10.
College Football is in complete limbo right now. We thought that things were crazy after Texas and Oklahoma left for the SEC, the Big 12 added four G5 teams and then all the G5 conferences realigned themselves.
Then June 30th, 2022 happened.
Out of the blue UCLA and USC announced that they plan on dashing to the Big 10 in 2024. This does two things, first it throws out the idea of conferences being geographic, and it puts the Pac 12 on total life support.
After all, the Pac 12 has only won one CFP game ever and their biggest name just announced they are leaving. Another issue is that the Big 12 already got the four most attractive candidates out of the G5.
For the Big 12 to cut their losses, they had to go get BYU, Cincinnati, UCF and Houston. And even those four teams didn’t cover losing Texas and Oklahoma.
USC is the equivalent of Texas and UCLA isn’t too far behind Oklahoma, at least in value. But who can the Pac 12 get? They need at least four teams and the list ends pretty quick after SDSU and Boise State. Every other team west of Texas would only hurt the conference, with an exception perhaps to UNLV for the market. Either way, if the Big 12 was able to cover 50% of their losses, the Pac 12 would be lucky to get up to 25%.
And the Big 10 may not even be done.
There is no reason to believe that the Big 10 wants just two schools three time zones away from the rest of the conference. In all likelihood, the next schools would be Oregon and Washington. While both may fight to have their rivals join (OSU and WSU), when push comes to shove, both would leave.
So that leaves eight Pac 12 teams without a home and absolutely no hope getting back to a P5 status. Naturally, these schools would look for a new home, and the Big 12 makes the most sense.