What I think, and know, about Pac-12 expansion right now
Will the league add San Diego State and SMU? Why them? And why now?
Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
The conventional wisdom around potential Pac-12 expansion has been that the league would seek to finalize a media deal first, then expand. Commissioner George Kliavkoff told reporters that back at the SBJ Intercollegiate Sports Forum in December, and that timeline has been reiterated in multiple reports since then.
But perhaps that is changing.
Take this report, from Brett McMurphy, suggesting that the Pac-12 needs to expand to create the inventory needed for a new media deal:
Pac-12 commish George Kliavkoff visiting SMU Wednesday, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. San Diego State & SMU are top Pac-12 expansion candidates. Pac-12 needs more members & more inventory for new media rights deal, which is expected to rely heavily on digital streaming services
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy)
Feb 8, 2023
Later that day, Dennis Dodd at CBS reported something similar. And then yesterday, the Dallas Morning News shared a picture (and story) of Kliavkoff at SMU, sitting with AD Rick Hart and everything.
That the Pac-12 would be interested in San Diego State is not breaking news. Industry sources have told me that multiple Pac-12 officials have visited Snapdragon Stadium over the past few months, and other reporters have confirmed that the two sides are in “communication.”
On paper, if the Pac-12 needed to expand, going to San Diego would make sense on a lot of levels. The school has a fancy new football stadium and quality facilities elsewhere. It would provide the conference another presence in critically important Southern California, now that USC and UCLA are leaving. SDSU can claim historical ties to many Pac-12 institutions (the school has played current Pac-12 schools about a hundred times in football, and is a regular OOC opponent in other sports) and the school’s research activity is growing, making it an easier academic sell.
But what about SMU? And why is the Pac-12’s timing changing? And what does this mean for everybody else?
Let’s try to take a closer look.
Subscribe to Premium Membership to read the rest.
Become a paying subscriber of Premium Membership to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.
Already a paying subscriber? Sign In