AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File
The Pac-12 continued to lose members Friday after ACC presidents and chancellors voted to add Cal and Stanford (as well as SMU) to the conference ranks.
Oregon State and Washington State remain the only two conference teams that don’t have a new home after the 2023-24 collegiate sports season, but the schools are apparently determined to rebuild the league with an eye on the Mountain West, per Brett McMurphy of The Action Network.
Brett McMurphy @Brett_McMurphyEven down to only 2 schools, Oregon State & Washington State “still trying to rebuild the Pac-12, maintain this thing & steal some of the Mountain West schools,” source told @ActionNetworkHQ
After this season, USC, UCLA, Washington and Oregon will join the Big Ten. Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado and Utah are headed to the Big 12. With Cal and Stanford going to the ACC, OSU and WSU are the last teams left.
The AAC was interested in adding Oregon State and Washington State, but expansion talks have ended. AAC commissioner Mike Aresco cited travel concerns in expanding to the Pacific time zone.
“We have known that today’s move was a possibility, which has allowed us time to investigate a number of options, including consideration of the larger group of institutions in the Pacific time zone,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said (h/t Nick Bromberg of Yahoo Sports).
“We have concluded, however, that the best way to proceed for our outstanding student-athletes is to not look westward. Instead, we plan to focus any expansion efforts on schools that allow for sensible and sustainable competition and student-athlete well-being within our strong geographic footprint. We look forward to continued success as a leading FBS conference.”
As Eric Fisher of Front Office Sports wrote, there appears to be two “prevailing options.” The first is joining the Mountain West, and the second is an attempt at a Pac-12 rebuild.
The latter option appears far more bleak with Cal and Stanford leaving, while the former option seems like the natural approach at this juncture.
Regardless of what happens, the Pac-12 as we know it is long gone, with the 2023-24 season being its swan song.