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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby To Meet With Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff

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Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is scheduled to meet with new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff on Tuesday, The Athletic reports.

The meeting between the two conference leaders is expected to be the first step in determining whether the two conferences would benefit from working together during the new phase of realignment in college sports.

Discussions on a pact between the two could go in several different directions, with one option being an alliance between Big 12 and Pac-12 members, the outlet reports. Bowlsby acknowledged this possibility on Monday during his appearance at a Texas Senate committee meeting. Another option is pursuing a merger with another conference.

“I think there are options for us to partner with other conferences,” Bowlsby said Monday. “There may be opportunity for mergers. There may be opportunities to add members. There may be other opportunities that are currently unforeseen.”

The Big 12 Conference sent a “cease and desist” letter to ESPN last week demanding that the network ends all actions that could harm the conference and its members.

Bowlsby says ESPN tried to interfere in an effort to destabilize the conference and help Texas and Oklahoma avoid exit fees. ESPN denied the Big 12 accusations in a follow-up response.

247Sports’ Chris Hummer reports that Bowlsby said on Monday regarding the Big 12’s letter to ESPN: “We have agreed not to escalate this publicly. It’s in neither party’s interest to do so.”

The Athletic reports another possible solution Bowlsby mentioned Monday would be for the Big 12 to work with another conference to aggregate their negotiating rights for the next TV deal.

“At this point, all options are on the table and nothing is a bad option,” one Big 12 source said to The Athletic. “We have to explore everything now. It’s not that we’re in panic mode, but let’s keep talking and keep finding out what’s out there.”

The outlet reports that another Big 12 source expects the Bowlsby-Kliavkoff meeting to be more of an “information download” for the new Pac-12 commissioner to gain a better sense of what the eight remaining members of the Big 12 can bring to the table.

“Time is our friend right now, so it’s not like something has to happen by Sept. 1,” the source said to The Athletic. “It’s a matter of starting to work through this and see what it looks like. We’ve got a runway.”

The Athletic reports that Kliavkoff was unavailable for comment and that Bowlsby and the Big 12 declined to comment when reached.

Written by Meg Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

3 Comments

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  1. As a PAC guy the idea of joining with the B12’s leftovers isn’t very appetizing. Most of the remaining schools are in small markets, out of the way outposts.

    I like the idea of the California PAC schools, UW and Oregon possibly, joining the B10 as the west division. Los Angeles, Bay area, maybe Seattle would be three major markets the new league’s configuration should like in terms of TV money and the west schools would benefit from the B10 name. That could compete with the SEC for eyeballs. Travel may be prohibitive.

  2. I don’t think there is much the Big12 can do at this point. They might need to accept that the remaining members are going to become a “mid-major” conference (but still a moderate force in Basketball), but I can see Kansas/K-St leaving for the B1G — especially if the SEC manages to poach OhioSt, Michigan and/or PennSt. (which if totally viable if the SEC is making a “power move” to eliminate the NCAA, which is my dream).

    If the SEC manages to add FloridaSt and Clemson, then we know a FULL COUP is happening – I think EVERYONE will see that and we will see a “Great Schism” in college football, where the SEC is ejected from the rest of the NCAA (in all sports), but it won’t matter since the SEC will be holding all the aces: including the NFL’s heart and soul.

  3. This shit is getting ridiculous at this point. BTW, Brent, the Pac 12 sucks. You have Oregon, USC (sort of), UW and sometimes Utah. Iowa St, TCU, K State, Ok St and WVU would finish top half of the league any given year in the Pac 12. That’s 5 of the 8 remaining teams. We all know Kansas sucks but hey you have Oregon State. I don’t like a Big12-Pac 12 merger either, it would be stupid and not really help anyone.

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