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It sounds like the PAC-12 might not be done just yet.
The west coast conference is fighting to survive amid an inability to land a new media deal. Without one getting secured relatively soon, the conference could face complete collapse with the Big 12 waiting to raid it.
While the outlook has been pretty poor for months, University of Arizona president Robert Robbins dropped some comments that could help calm the choppy waters of the PAC-12.
PAC-12 fans get a little boost from Robbins.
While Robert Robbins definitely didn’t declare the PAC-12 crisis (go ahead and trademark that term for me), he did indicate things are trending up in his mind.
“It’s heavily dependent on (commissioner George Kliavkoff) and his team negotiating a good media deal for us to stay competitive. I don’t think anybody wants to leave. Why would you move for a couple million dollars a year more,” Robbins told Jon Wilner when talking about the future of the conference. Ultimately, it all comes down to money, and Robbins believes the final deal will work.
“I would love to be closer to the Big Ten or SEC, but being closer to the Big 12 is more realistic. (Kliavkoff) has done a great job working on the media deal, and I think he’ll bring us something that’s good enough,” the man running the university in Tucson further explained.
How much optimism should programs and fans have?
After months and months of downright terrible news for the PAC-12, signs are definitely starting to point to the conference surviving….at least in the short term. However, there is still one question: how much money will programs make? As Robbins said, he expects Kliavkoff to get a satisfactory deal done.
He also noted it’s north worth moving for just a few extra million. That’s clearly a shot at the Big 12. The Big 12 is set to pay members roughly $31.7 million annually with its new deal. If the PAC-12 falls short – let’s say in the $28 million to $30 million range – do Oregon and Washington remain?
Do the Huskies and Ducks sign any deal for that amount of cash? Remember, the Big Ten might open to taking them for around $40 million annually. That means the PAC-12 will either have to distribute revenue unevenly or pray the two biggest brands left stay for much less than they could get elsewhere.
While Robbins comments are definitely a positive sign, the situation is far from over. That much is clear. It remains fluid, and until the ink dries on a new deal, nothing is set in stone.