Fresno State President Confirms Expansion Interest From P5 Conference

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The Big 12’s interest in adding Fresno State is apparently very real.

Back in February, it was reported talks were occurring between the Big 12 and the Mountain West program amid commissioner Brett Yormark’s desire to expand west.

Initial belief was the conference would poach some PAC-12 programs. It’s unclear whether or not that option is still on the table. However, there appears to be little doubt the California-based school is very much in play.

Fresno State president confirms Big 12 interest. (Photo by Jason Allen/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

University president Saul Jimenez-Sandoval confirmed the Big 12’s interest during a Thursday meeting to discuss a measure to boost the program’s athletic funding, according to The Sun.

Further details on what exactly Jimenez-Sandoval told people about the Big 12 weren’t provided.

Will the Big 12 add Fresno State?

The Big 12 hasn’t been shy about the fact the top priority is raiding the PAC-12. What would that look like? That remains to be seen.

Most likely, the Big 12 would target Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. That would be a home run for Yormark if he can pull it off.

For a time, it looked like it might happen. The PAC-12 still doesn’t have a new media deal, and a couple months ago, the conference appeared to be on the ropes.

That’s no longer the case. While the PAC-12 still doesn’t have a deal, the situation has definitely stabilized.

That means the Big 12 might have to move onto plan B. Enter Fresno State. If the Big 12 is desperate to go west – which it is – Fresno State isn’t a bad play.

It’s a legit program in a massive state that would add a new TV market for the Big 12. The Bulldogs also have resources, roughly 20,000 students and relatively solid facilities.

Will the Bulldogs join the Big 12? (Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fresno State might not be in the Big 12’s first few choices, but if the PAC-12 remains intact, adding the Bulldogs wouldn’t be the worst outcome.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. Unless and until Washington and Oregon sign a media rights deal, I wouldn’t describe the PAC-12 as ‘stabilized.’

    Each of them can decide this summer to leave on the same timetable as USC and UCLA.

    The Big Ten is desperate for more Pacific Time Zone content and those schools fit their academic profile as well.

    HALF of annual Big Ten revenue shares are worth more than the PAC-12 can likely do and offer the promise of future stability and riches.

    Oregon’s new President came from Wisconsin where he sang the Big 10’s praises.

    If they go, which could still easily happen in a matter of months then the four corner schools will grab that Big 12 lifeline in a heartbeat and it would all be over by August.

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