Utah ‘Leading’ The Charge To Save The PAC-12: REPORT

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A surprising team might be leading the fight to keep the PAC-12 together: the Utah Utes.

The PAC-12 is clinging to life as commissioner George Kliavkoff continues to fail to land a new media. With every day that passes without a new deal, the Big 12 starts to look more and more tempting.

The fact Oregon and Washington also reportedly believe the Big Ten is waiting for them only complicates the situation.

Will the PAC-12 survive? (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Will Utah save the PAC-12?

However, Utah is behind closed doors as a vocal leader for keeping the conference together, according to KSL Sports’ Michelle Bodkin.

“I have multiple sources around Utah and the Pac-12 that have said from the start it is Utah’s desire to remain with the Pac-12. One of those sources with the Pac-12 specifically told me they talked with one of the higher-ups in the conference who is in all of the meetings, and they said Utah has been leading a lot of the charge,” Bodkin wrote Friday.

Her report goes along with what Utah AD Mark Harlan has publicly said. He openly smacked down a claim the Big 12 was getting ready to pound once PAC-12 teams, including the Utes.

This is a significant development.

Common belief has been that two things would happen to signal a PAC-12 collapse. In order, Washington and Oregon would run to the Big Ten, and then with the PAC-12’s media value obliterated, Arizona, ASU, Colorado and Utah would leave for stability in the Big 12.

It’s starting to increasingly look like Utah has no interest in leaving. For all the PAC-12 fanboys, this is the first good news they’ve received in a long time.

Could the PAC-12 survive even if Oregon and Washington leave? There’d be eight members left, Kliavkoff could add SDSU and SMU to get back to 10 and then maybe ink a media deal in the $30 million range. That last point might be a bit too optimistic, but the conference could survive.

Utah reportedly leading the charge to save the PAC-12. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

It’d be relegated to an afterthought, but it would survive. If the Four Corners schools stick together and commit to remaining the PAC-12, the conference will probably make it. The PAC-12 might get by the skin of its teeth, but it’d still be alive. If that happens, people will have to send a lot of gift baskets to Mark Harlan and the Utah Utes.

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. The addition of SMU to the Pac does not bring in “the Dallas TV market”. It brings in “the Park Cities TV market” … the very “toney” enclave of Highland Park / University Park in the center of North Dallas with SMU in the middle of it. The vast majority of Greater Dallas is divided between UT, aTm, and OU partisans.

    And Outkick’s official “fanboy” refers to Pac-12 “fanboys” … LOL!

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