Pac-12 Conference Not Concerned About Big 12 Poaching Teams Despite Lack Of Media Deal

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The Pac-12 Conference took center stage this week as it held its media day.

And unsurprisingly, much of the conversation revolved around conference realignment, expansion and media rights.

With the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins set to leave the Pac-12 at the end of the year and no new media deal, rumors have suggested the conference could soon be set to fall apart.

Commissioner George Kliavkoff addressed the media Friday morning and addressed some of that speculation head on.

Some of his answers related to potential realignment in general across the college football landscape.


But he also specifically responded to the rumors that the Big 12 Conference could be looking to pounce if Pac-12 member schools are unhappy.

Kliavkoff was short and to the point when asked about teams being “poached” by the Big 12.

Kliavkoff said that the Pac-12’s silence on realignment rumors was purposeful and not sign of conference weakness.

“We could have spent all of last year getting into a he said/he said on every single rumor that’s been passed about our conference,” he said on Friday. “We decided to take the high road.”

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff is working on a television deal for the conference.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 03: Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at a press conference before the PAC-12 Football Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium on December 03, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Pac-12 Conference Leaders Expressing Overconfidence?

Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens echoed Kliavkoff’s confidence.

“I’m not losing any sleep over that,” Mullins said when asked about Arizona, Colorado or Utah schools potentially leaving for the Big 12.

But should he be?

Every day the conference doesn’t announce a new media deal, speculation and uncertainty grows.

Media rights are the single most important part of college football revenue, and the key reason USC and UCLA are heading to the Big 10.

Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Arizona State don’t have the cachet of the LA schools, but there’s little doubt they’re just as eager to maximize revenue.

Kliavkoff and the other AD’s seem convinced that the Big 12 can’t make more a more compelling offer. Even though the conference just added four new programs.

That might be a bit of wishful thinking.

Or maybe the Pac-12 will be just fine. Stay tuned.

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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