Dear Pac 12 Conference,
Conference re-alignment has become the ever present elephant in the room. And while the Pac 12 is strong at twelve, things are changing. The Big 10 has recently expanded to fourteen members, adding two of the largest media markets in Maryland and Rutgers. The SEC is already strong, and rumors are that the conference is talking with Virginia Tech. The Big 12 will not sit back and be content with ten members. They will feel the pressure expand east. Rumors have been strong that the conference has been talking with Florida State and Clemson. They may be interested in Louisville and Cincinnati as well, to also have fourteen members and wrap those large media markets: Nearly four million people in Louisville and Cincinnati, and the large national fan presence of FSU and Clemson.
So what is the Pac 12 to do? The other major college conferences will be raking in tens of millions of dollars per school. And while the Pac 12 has a very good dollar per school media payout, I believe that it can make even more. Now I know that the Pac 12 leadership is made up of smart, business savvy people. Much more so than I. However, I believe that fan input can many times offer up an alternate view, thinking from outside the box. So what is this idea of mine to make more money? Invite decent schools in large markets, or that have a national fan presence
Houston and SMU reside in markets with a combined population of over twelve million people. Those schools could also open up the Texas market to further Pac 12 recruitment.
San Diego State has over three million people in San Diego County, and could further serve to give USC and UCLA a closer travel partner.
BYU is in the Salt lake area, has a large national fan presence, and would preserve the rivalry with the University of Utah. BYU won't play on Sunday's, but that could be solved by inviting them for football only
Then you have UNLV, which can lay claim to just over one million people in Las Vegas. They have a powerhouse basketball program, and the football program is on the rise. Plus they bring with them the Las Vegas Bowl, which the Pac 12 already plays in.
And lastly there is Boise State, with it's powerhouse football program, decent basketball program, and a massive national fan presence. Boise fans pack opponents stadiums all across the country. BSU already competes in the Pac 12 in wrestling, but could be invited as a football only member, as could any of these schools listed.
As a UCLA Bruin I want to see the Pac Conference succeed as the best and most powerful collegiate conference. To do that the conference needs schools that will bring in the money, but also schools that will add to the football strength of the conference and garner respect nationally. I have heard many college football fans across the country make fun of the Pac 12 for inviting Utah and Colorado, merely for their media markets, seeing as their football programs stink. The Big 10 is already feeling the criticisms, and hearing the laughter regarding their decision to invite Maryland and Rutgers. The Pac 12 should avoid this.
This is why I really believe that the conference needs to invite Boise State. National fan presence. Powerhouse football program. Good basketball program. Already is highly regarded and respected nationally. Consistently ranked in the Top 25, and seeing as they compete in weaker conferences, that is quite an accomplishment. Now imagine what they could do if they were in the best college football conference in the nation.
These four schools give the Pac 12 the most for its media money, and four of the six mentioned (Boise, SDSU, Houston, and SMU) can play in the Pac 12 next season (2013-14). The Pac 12 being the first sixteen school conference would make headlines and establish itself as the conference to emulate.
Now you don’t want to break up traditional rivalries, so you put the original Pac 8 schools in a western division. The you put the Arizona schools, Utah, and Colorado in an eastern division with the four new schools. Now I know that SDSU isn’t east, but the Arizona schools are close enough to counter that.
I believe that a Pac 12 Conference with these members would be a conference to be reckoned with, both monetarily and in football strength and tradition.
Thank you for your time.