Oregon Prioritizing College Football Playoff Opportunities Ahead of Profits

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The Oregon Ducks have apparently set their priorities with regards to realignment, and it’s winning.

That’s according to a new report from John Canzano on his Substack. Canzano goes into detail on the current deliberations around the Pac-12, and specifically Oregon.

Conference leadership is currently negotiating a new media rights deal, which has seemingly taken longer to complete than expected.

Some analysts have already predicted the conference could struggle significantly to find a linear television partner.


But Canzano reports that Oregon, and the rest of the conference don’t seem to mind.

In large part, that’s because the Ducks believe their best path to berths in the expanded college football playoff would come in the Pac-12.

“The Ducks are chasing revenue like every other school in America, but also Oregon mostly just covets access to the College Football Playoff. It has that in the Pac-12,” Canzano writes.

Oregon Ducks
MOBILE, AL – FEBRUARY 02: A general view of an Oregon Ducks helmet during the Reese’s Senior Bowl team practice session on February 2, 2023 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Does Oregon Have a Point?

The Pac-12 will be getting much weaker in the next 18 months with the departure of USC and UCLA.

That said, the impending expansion of the playoff field may outweigh conference strength concerns.

Starting in 2024, Oregon will almost certainly be seen as the top program remaining in the Pac-12. The decreased level of competition could lead to the Ducks consistently representing the conference as a top 12 team.

That might outweigh any loss in revenue from a less valuable media rights deal.

Of course, it also helps to have Phil Knight in your corner. And no offer from the Big 10, as Canzano explains.

“The Big Ten? It hasn’t extended an invitation to Oregon. The Big 12? The Ducks do not appear at all interested in a lateral move. Again, getting to the football playoff is what matters most at UO. Knight continues to play the role of the great financial equalizer. The Nike founder has raised expectations and boosted his alma mater’s profile with a billion-dollar investment.”

With reports on the Pac-12 generally negative of late, it seems that the conference still has the confidence of at least one of its key remaining members.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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