Why Big 12 should keep eye on Fighting Irish, Huskies, more
July 29, 2022
Despite the various changes in the college football landscape, including the transfer portal and the NIL, conference realignment has remained the most significant change.
When the Big 12 lost four members, including Texas A&M, Missouri, and Nebraska, it shocked the college football world. After Oklahoma and Texas left the Power Five, the other conferences that were left behind, such as USC and UCLA, started to look for new members.
Despite lacking media rights, the Big 12 and the ACC have solid foundations. The Pacific-12, on the other hand, looks like it is on the verge of becoming the most unstable conference in the country.
Big 12 newly-appointed commissioner Brett Yormark has been open about the conference's desire to expand. After the announcement of the UCLA-USC deal, it was reported that the league was looking to add other members such as Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. However, things have slowed down as the Pacific-12 entered a 30-day window for negotiations on their media rights.
it would be fascinating to see Oregon and Washington on the Big 12. As the college football landscape continues to change, the Big 12 must keep an eye on the schools below.
Oregon Ducks vs. Fighting Irish
The Oregon Ducks are a very valuable brand. However, with the recent developments involving Notre Dame, the league may pursue the Fighting Irish instead. The Fighting Irish want to remain an independent program, but that would not stop the Big Ten from pursuing them.
The success of the Ducks on the football field and the backing of Nike founder Phil Knight provide a lot of value to any conference that can acquire them.
The Washington Huskies are also a valuable brand. Led by Jacob Eason, the team started strong this season.
Despite the lackluster start to the season, the Huskies are still considered one of the country's most valuable programs. Forbes also placed the team in the 25th spot. The program may follow the Oregon Ducks wherever they go.
Adding the Huskies would allow the Big 12 to expand its media reach. It would also provide the league with a strong media market in the Northwest.
The success of the Utah football team has been attributed to the emergence of freshman Ja'Quinden Jackson and the quality of its head coach, Kyle Whittingham. Since the team joined the Pacific 12 in 2011, it has recorded six seasons with nine or more victories.
If the Washington and Oregon football programs decide to join the Big Ten, then Utah will be the best remaining program in the Power Five.
Adding the Washington and Oregon football programs would also provide the Big 12 with a great west coast rivalry.
Arizona State Sun Devils
The Arizona State Sun Devils have been struggling this season, making the idea of adding them seem unrealistic. However, Arizona State can help the Big 12 expand its media presence to Phoenix and the southwest.
Likewise, adding the Arizona Wildcats will grant access to the Tuscon media market. Adding Arizona and Arizona State to the conference also helps in staging a natural rivalry.