Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff did his greatest to sound like a person with confidence in his convention’s future on Friday morning.
But anybody who’s been paying consideration in all probability heard his phrases as desperate and defensive greater than something.
Don’t get me unsuitable. There are loads of folks on the market who imagine the Pac-12 nonetheless has an opportunity to outlive in the newest spherical of convention realignment chaos. And, who is aware of; it very nicely may.
But there’s additionally the risk — it would even be possible at this level — that the convention is in deep trouble after the departures of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.
It was the Big 12, which has been rumored to be a possible protected touchdown spot for at least some of the Pac-12’s 10 remaining universities, that drew most of Kliavkoff’s ire on Friday, as he made a number of jabs in that course.
“With respect to the Big 12 being open for enterprise, I admire that,” Kliavkoff mentioned early in his remarks at the Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles. “We have not determined whether or not we’re going procuring there or not.”
Those phrases, of course, got here in response to new Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark saying two weeks in the past that the Big 12 was “open for enterprise” at his convention’s media days.
It needs to be famous that Yormark made it clear that his remark then was not solely about realignment and included all areas of enterprise that would strengthen the Big 12. It’s additionally price noting that Yormark was way more tactful along with his phrases when requested about realignment.
Rather than concentrating on or referencing some other conferences, he merely mentioned the powers that be inside the Big 12 had been evaluating all choices and that if the convention made any strikes in phrases of enlargement it might come from the place of including worth and not watering down the convention only for the sake of increasing.
As issues progressed on Friday, Kliavkoff grew to become even feistier, saying he had spent the final 4 weeks “making an attempt to defend towards grenades being lobbed in from each nook of the Big 12 making an attempt to destabilize our remaining convention.”
He added: “I perceive why they’re doing it, if you look at the relative media worth between the two conferences. I get it. I get why they’re scared, why they’re making an attempt to destabilize it.”
With all due respect to Mr. Kliavkoff, who’s, in any case, in simply his second yr in faculty athletics, I’m not so positive it is the Big 12 that sounds scared right here.
It’s laborious responsible anybody in the Pac-12 for being a bit on edge proper now. The convention is in severe hazard of falling aside and there are a number of experiences on the market that point out that the 10 members that stay in the convention are extra divided than united.
So Kliavkoff needed to do one thing on Friday that made it appear to be he and his convention had been working from a place of energy. I’m simply undecided that throwing stones at the Big 12 and appearing like an enormous, unhealthy bully really did that.
Isn’t it the Big Ten, and even ESPN and probably the SEC, that Kliavkoff ought to actually be offended with? After all, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren flat-out mentioned simply this week that his convention had not closed the door on enlargement.
And, if the Big Ten does develop once more, there are loads who imagine that Pac-12 applications Oregon, Stanford and Washington are on the brief checklist of probably candidates to get gob-bled up.
But, positive, go forward and play powerful man with the Big 12, George. It’s already been made crystal clear by your two flagship applications that the Pac-12 and Big Ten aren’t in the similar league so there is no use in making an attempt to punch up.
Some folks certainly purchased into Kliavkoff’s method on Friday. And perhaps he made a nook of Pac-12 nation really feel higher about the present state of issues along with his feedback. He actually had no selection however to at least attempt to make some sort of a splash. His convention’s survival is on the line.
In addition to going after the Big 12, Kliavkoff additionally famous that the Pac-12 was actively exploring enlargement alternatives. Again, it appeared as if that was mentioned to make it sound as if the Pac-12 is in management right here. Most imagine the reverse is true, although.
It’s already been made clear that nobody from the Big 12 is all in favour of leaving for the Pac-12. And speak of a coastal merger between the Pac-12 and the ACC did not appear to have any actual steam behind it both. That leaves applications like San Diego State, Boise State, Fresno State, SMU and Memphis, amongst others, as the greatest colleges out there for the Pac-12 to scoop up if enlargement is deemed mandatory.
Say what you’ll about the present Big 12 roster, however all 4 of the applications the Big 12 is bringing in (BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and Central Florida) — and others, if the Big 12 provides anyone from the present Pac-12 lineup — much more engaging and add extra worth than any of the colleges talked about above.
Desperate instances name for desperate measures, and Kliavkoff actually appeared desperate on Friday.
Here was a person lamenting that the collegiality of faculty athletics had been compromised in latest weeks by taking direct shots at one other convention.
He even walked that again a bit, saying at one level that he was “simply drained” of the speak of the Big 12 doubtlessly swiping Pac-12 applications and that these rumors impressed his feedback on Friday morning.
“That’s in all probability not the most collegial factor I’ve ever mentioned,” he added.
Tough instances out west. We’ll see how for much longer they final.