Time is a flat circle.
Roughly a decade after a potential Big 12 and (then) Pac-10 merger was being heavily discussed that would have formed the first true college football super-conference, the two leagues are back at the drawing board discussing things once again.
According to a report from The Athletic’s Max Olson, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby and Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff are scheduled to meet Tuesday to determine if there are strategic advantages to the two conferences attempting to work together in some fashion.
There are a lot of different ways this could go, but it seems the most likely scenarios are one of two main options here if they want to press forward with this.
Option 1 would be a flat out merger of the two conferences to form a 20-team league and keep the two conferences lowest on the Power 5 totem pole above water. Also conceivable here would be a handful of the Big 12 teams heading elsewhere with the remaining going to the Pac-12 in some combination.
Option 2 would be a scheduling alliance between the two leagues where they remain separate entities - but have locked in games with one another each and every season. This would be beneficial when brokering a television deal they could work together on. In a sense, it would be similar to what Notre Dame currently has with the ACC but on a greater scale with it being between two leagues.
Right now, it essentially feels like anything will be considered by the Big 12 as they try to find any way to survive the blow of Oklahoma and Texas leaving for the SEC. Bowlsby expressed that the league was completely blindsided by their departure and are trying to find a way to recoup what Bowlsby said was close to 50% of the value of their current television contract.
The ironic part of this situation is that the Pac-12 essentially almost did what the SEC did do to the Big 12 a decade ago when they nearly poached Oklahoma and Texas, among others, to head west. Now, they could be what saves the Big 12 this time around.
Time will tell if anything comes of this possible alliance, but as Bowlsby has said himself - pretty much all options are on the table at this point for the Big 12 as they try to stay afloat.
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