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“I think Colorado ends up in the Big 12” – The Denver Post

After being caught off guard by Southern California and UCLA departing for the Big Ten Conference, the Pac-12 is doing its best to stick together.

USC and UCLA announced their decision last week to exit the Pac-12 in 2024. The conference quickly responded by deciding it would explore expansion. Then came the decision to accelerate the timetable for media rights negotiations. There are also reports of a “loose partnership” with the ACC.

“It’s all like, really, spaghetti on the wall,” Fox Sports analyst Joel Klatt told BuffZone. “That, to me, is considered restless.”

As the Pac-12 searches for answers, what’s the best move for Colorado? A dozen years after leaving the Big 12 to join the Pac-12, CU is now forced to assess its future.

“I know the proactive ones tend to do a lot better in those types of scenarios than the reactive ones,” said Klatt, CU quarterback from 2002-05. .

“The Arizonas (Arizona and Arizona State) and the mountain schools (CU and Utah), I think, have real urgency. I think they want to land something fast.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Philip DiStefano and sporting director Rick George released a joint statement indicating they support the Pac-12’s decision to enter into media rights negotiations, adding, “We are committed to the Pac-12 conference. 12 and we look forward to being an active participant in these conversations.

That doesn’t mean the Buffs closed the door on leaving the conference. In fact, on Tuesday evening, the UC board of directors held a special executive session to discuss the situation. According to a BuffZone source, athletics and campus officials briefed the regents on CU’s options regarding the future, but no action was taken at the meeting.

Those options likely don’t include an invitation from the Big Ten or the SEC, which have clearly distanced themselves from the rest of the country. These are the two power conferences going forward, which is why USC and UCLA got away.

Nowhere does CU bring the same economic value to the Big Ten or the SEC. In fact, not many schools do.

“There’s really only one left, that’s Notre Dame,” Klatt said. “There is no reason for the SEC and the Big Ten to expand beyond what they are now.”

So where does that leave CU?

“I think Colorado ends up in the Big 12,” said Klatt, who led CU to back-to-back Big 12 title games in 2004 and 2005.

With Oklahoma and Texas going to the SEC, the Big 12 no longer have attractive teams for the Big Ten or the SEC, Klatt said, adding, “Which makes them oddly much more stable than the ACC. or the Pac-12.”

Without USC and UCLA, Oregon and Washington are the flagship Pac-12 schools. The ACC is led by Clemson, Florida State and Miami.

Whether or not the Big Ten and SEC add more teams, Klatt believes that in the not-too-distant future, major college football will have four conferences, with the Big Ten and SEC at the top.

“I think keeping the Pac-12 afloat is a wild ride,” he said. “Whether it’s the Pac-12 absorbing the Big 12, or the Big 12 absorbing the Pac-12, or all three – the ACC, the Big 12 and the Pac-12 – doing two conferences, it goes up to four , max: Two who will rule everything and two who will be left behind.

Former Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has been accused by many of putting the conference in this position. George Kliavkoff replaced Scott a year ago and was praised by George and others at the conference, but now finds himself in a tough spot.

“I feel really bad for George Kliavkoff because I think he’s really good and was dealt one of the worst hands ever,” Klatt said.

It’s a hand that has left CU and others struggling and many worried about the health of college football going forward.

“It’s not a good situation to be in (for some), and I want to acknowledge that and yet, at the same time, it was happening, and it had been happening for a long time,” Klatt said. “The reality is college football has long been too big. No one wants to hear that and I understand that’s sad for some people and it pisses them off but that’s the reality. You can’t subsidize that many departments athletes without the subsidizers at some point saying, “Hey, listen, we have to go out there and take care of ourselves.” That’s kind of what’s happening now.


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