You could say the Pac-12 is still considering all of its options when it comes to conference realignment.
Will the league look to expand beyond its current footprint on the West Coast? Maybe.
Will the conference enter a political alliance with the ACC and Big Ten to help combat the growing SEC? Probably.
George Kliavkoff, who not long ago took over as the new Pac-12 commissioner, said during a recent interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal that no final decisions have been made on any major topics, but he shared a few comments that are sure to be of interest to nervous fans in Big 12 country.
Start with this.
“I am not actively poaching any school or convincing anyone to leave their existing conference, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t listening to schools that wanted to go in the Pac-12,” Kliavkoff told the paper, “and we’ve had a lot of them reach out. Probably all of the ones you would expect and several you’d be surprised by.”
Many of the most obvious candidates reside in the Big 12 as the conference faces an uncertain future now that Oklahoma and Texas are on their way to the SEC. Athletic leaders at all of the remaining eight Big 12 members have been multi-tasking for weeks. On one hand, they are trying to work together on matters that could strengthen the conference they have long called home. On the other hand, they are also trying to find more preferable landing spots of their own in other leagues.
Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 is “really, really happy with the 12 that we have in the league,” but the shifting landscape of college sports has presented some options that should at least be considered.
“We have taken initial meetings with everyone that has expressed an interest,” Kliavkoff told the Review-Journal. “We have a working group … who are together deciding on what to recommend … At the end of the day, they’ll make the decision about whether or not to offer admission to the Pac-12 to any other schools.”
That decision could happen sooner rather than later.