Are the Pac 12 teams a fit for the Big 12?

Baylor fan here. Constructive points to our potential new member if Utah could swallow the drop in competition. : )) I’m curious about some thoughts on these points:

  1. It seems like Pac 12 schools have little respect for Big 12 schools minus OU and UT. I’ve seen discussion on the Utah board today about their reluctance to be in the Big 12 because of religious schools. In past Pac 12 expansion talks, I recall at least one of these schools being left out of the discussion because of this point. I’ve also seen plenty of discussion about how the Big 12 schools aren’t on the same level academically. And on average that’s true for sure. So from a Fit perspective, how do you think the Pac 12 schools would fit with the Big 12? I believe some of the Big 12 schools have some strong feelings about the past attitudes of the Pac 12 schools towards the Big 12. And I think Fit is as high on the Big 12 radar as revenue and I have seen this discussed by the Baylor AD. The UT cancer is leaving. Big $$ loss but also a misFit leaving. When one Big 12 leader was asked about taking schools from the Pac 12, he said “Why?”.

How do you think the Pac 12 schools would fit in the Big 12. Would they be happy partners and constructive members or cancerous? Which Pac 12 schools would fit the most, if any?

  1. I have seen plenty of talk about how the Pac 12 schools are more competitive than the Big 12 and a move to the Big 12 would be a move into the mid majors or something like this. And maybe this is because they would join a conference without OU and UT. But how many people know the success level (lack of) of UT for the past decade? Where do these beliefs come from? How well has the Pac 12 minus UCLA and USC performed in terms of bowl games and rankings versus the Big 12 minus OU and UT but plus the 4 new schools? Are the Pac 12 teams that much better than the Big 12 or actually worse?

See linked article about 2021 bowl performances. And this trend didn’t just start in 2021. This has been a multi-year theme.

  • Big 12 (excluding OU and including the new 4): 6-1 with Cinci losing to Bama in the Playoffs.
  • Pac 12 : 0-5

In the USA Today article about bowl performance, “College football bowl season winners, losers: Big 12 steps up; Pac-12’s stink will linger”.

Latest Top 25 (counting OU & UT as SEC // USC & UCLA as B1G // Cinci, UCF, BYU, Houston as Big 12)

Top 10:
Big 12 = 3
SEC = 3
B1G = 3
ACC = 0
Pac 12 = 0

ACC = 4
SEC = 3
Big 12 = 2
Pac 12 = 2
B1G = 1

Notably USC and UCLA are not in the Top 25.

From the latest CBS Sports AP top 25.

And the Big 12 is the best basketball conference. Any disagreement? Check those wins and rankings.

Do you think any Big 12 teams could be attracted to the Pac 12 based on these points? Or do you think Pac 12 teams are more likely to come swimming to the Big 12?

My hope for the Big 12:

  1. Find the best 2 Pac 12 teams from a Fit and then Financial perspective, in that order.

  2. Wait for the SEC and B1G to raid the ACC and take the best 2 from there from a Revenue and then Fit perspective in that order. The ACC teams are a better natural fit for the Big 12, they are more competitive, and they have better markets.


When BYU fans pretend to be Baylor fans.


What happens going forward is anybody’s guess. That stated, the B1G and $EC money raids may end up being a lot more complicated for those conferences than they think.

As much as the TV networks think they can pull off the logistics to carry all the schools’ games, it is likely there will be east coast teams essentially playing “Sunday morning” football with late start games in LA. Trying to cram 30 to 40 hours of programming into a 24-hour day could dilute the value of the TV product greatly. As a fan of a school that has been on the “Sunday morning” football rotation for a while now, it sucks playing those and getting home at 2:00AM Sunday morning from an 8:30PM Saturday night kickoff. Even watching on TV gets you to bed at damn near midnight. A 10:30PM kickoff for Rutgersfan or Terpfan…they won’t be watching. In fact, most of the conference will not watch a west coast night game kickoff. The Olympic sports add a whole new dimension as they are money eaters.

If this were about the competition you make a lot of fair points about the fact BIG 12 being competitive in the major sports. The grabs of OU-Texas, and U$C-UCLA had nothing to do with competition. Those were about the money. The conferences saw the population, media markets, and social mobility patterns and made their move.

Realistically all four programs will likely be relegated to being conference “Also Ran’s” and be lost in the clutter. They won’t be Vanderbilt or Rutgers level clutter, but the dynasty runs they were used to will never happen again. Sometimes being a big fish in a pond of smaller fish isn’t so bad.

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The only I problem I have with the big12 is having to play BYU. You’ll find out why soon enough.


I’ll bite.

The PAC has had a serious academic side, one of the reasons Utah got invited in 2010. There’s certainly an anti-religion bias in some schools, primarily to do with really ugly recent-past religious issues, like when BYU had no black players & Wyoming’s 14 African Americans refused to play them based on the theological discrimination against blacks.

Utah fans are proud of the academic achievements of the school, the U’s President has challenged the research community to get to the $1 Billion a year level for research funding. We recently got our first Nobel laureate, would like to add to the list. Utah is in the AAU, which seems to be a requirement for B12 expansion.

To that extent, BYU may be a better cultural fit for the B12, unless religious sectarian squabbles break out, as they sometimes do.

But the case can also be made that athletics is much more than a marketing and alumni recruiting tool, and the money is an end in itself. Eg, the PAC has no problem scheduling BYU for non-conference games. At the end of the day you need to pay your bills and play good competition.

If the rush is on to two 32-team super-conferences, Utah would prefer the B1G with other PAC partners. If the PAC collapses with no invitation coming to the B1G, the B12 is the next best option.

Utah wouldn’t make waves or be a cancer in the B12, regardless if there was some grumbling about not getting our 1st choice and not being able to keep the rest of the PAC together. The U is a moderately liberal university in a red state, not unlike many of the B12 schools, so we know how to go along to get along.


The Pac-12 is aggressively plotting expansion. I’m thinking they may hold their nose and invite a couple of the Big12 Texas schools - which of course are not a cultural or academic fit. Seemed unfathomable up to this point. Crazy times.

Whatever deal is best for Utah is fine with me. There are some ways our conference can keep our research+AAU focus, and I hope we do. If that standard has to give way a bit, we can live with it. I don’t care if we have religion-based opponents but I hope we can avoid the toxicity of a conference rivalry with BYU.


President Randall has challenged the research community to get to $1B in researching funding annually, so on the academic side things keep ascending.

We do have a great leader-president. I was referring to the PAC-12 (-2) maintaining its academic focus. I hope they (we) can do that.

Speaking of Pres. Randall, it’s been a long time since we had an inspirational leader in that office.

Yeah, I’d like to keep the academic focus. KU would be a no brainer academically, like you said. Since UCLA blew up the UC academic standard in the league, SDSU seems a no brainer on the geography, with not horrible academics, not Boise level. Texas Tech has a Med school. Hawaii’s academics are solid.

And it may be time to give UO and UW a disproportionate paycheck, and up the exit fees.

Shake off the sting, get a better TV deal and invest in the PAC footprint. The West is growing, in spite of Cali shrinking a little.


THIS^^^. Realistically, our football rivals for the last many years have been the likes of USC, WA, OU, and perhaps ASU. PAC12 has tried to manufacture a CU/Utah rivalry, but it hasn’t really gone anywhere. The last thing I want is to end up in a conference situation where there is a temptation on anyone’s part, for some sort of reestablishment of a football rivalry we’ve outgrown.


I wish I had more stars to give this post.


There is also an enrollment challenge to get to 45K students. Additional admissions counselors are now in offices in Southern California and in Texas so far.

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The Pac 12 is dead. What other choice do we have?


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The Big 12 has no AAU requirement. The majority of schools aren’t AAU. Maybe you meant the B1G? Yeah I think if many of us want to remain relevant in sports, we’ll all have to learn to get along. : ) If it’s death to our teams or putting on a smile, we’ll all be smiling.

I just don’t see Big 12 schools leaving when the conference is now stable and feelers have been out for some time with the media. UT and OU are also locked in for a couple more years or else they’ll be paying up big. A new media experienced AD was named the day before the USC/UCLA announcement. Interesting timing. Maybe someone knew something or just coincidence. Who knows though. I think we will all miss our traditional rivalries that make college sports what it is, or used to be.

Texas Tech’s education rankings are among the worst in the Big 12. KU wants the B1G and their basketball delivers $$$. But I can’t imagine they will end up in the B1G.

'94 Baylor alum


I asked the same question on the Oregon board (FishDuck). I’m surprised about their responses and openness to joining the Big 12.