Expansion isn’t always a great idea for those already involved with the situation beforehand and that is exactly what the Pac-12 Conference has realized. The conference announced on Thursday that they will not be exploring a potential expansion of the Pac-12 “at this point” and there’s a huge reason why this is the correct answer.
The question was posed because of the recent news that both Oklahoma and Texas will be departing from the Big 12 Conference to join the SEC. This response also came soon after they put out a joint statement with the ACC and Big Ten Conference announcing an alliance between the three conferences.
This means the Pac-12 would not attempt to poach another program out from under these conferences in an attempt to monopolize college athletics at the Division 1 level but that is a completely separate article for this writer to tackle so that is not going to be the focal point here.
Pac-12 Expansion – Money Talks
If the Pac-12 Conference did decide to expand, it means that their revenue will be split with another collegiate program. The Pac-12 currently has its own television station dedicated to promoting the conference in a multitude of sporting events.
According to their own official website, the Pac-12 Network reported revenues of $416 million for 2019-2020. If the conference did decide to expand their conference by one or two more collegiate programs, that would mean there would be less of the pie for the teams already a part of the conference to have, slashing their individual profit margins from the television deal.
It sounds greedy, and you can argue at the end of the day that it is, but that is how the world of college athletics at any level is run. A good percentage of university heads care more about the dollars and cents that the university brings in due to their sports team than the level of competition that the conference brings as a whole.
History Should Mean Something
I don’t know if I represent the vast majority of fans anymore but I love the historic rivalries in sports, no matter the level. In the Pac-12 Conference, there are a bunch of good rivalries jammed throughout the conference.
Think about the battles between the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans, the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils, and the California Bears and the Stanford Cardinals just to name a few.
Each of these programs throughout the conference has a lot of history in their competitions and you can argue that adding a team means the addition of more rivalries down the line, but thinking of the legendary coaches scattered throughout is incredible to think about. Adding another program can potentially muddy up the waters a little bit there.
Expansion isn’t always bad but in this specific case, the Pac-12 are doing the right thing regardless of their individual reasoning. Preserving history is important and that’s what the Conference of Champions just did with their announcement of staying put.