Earlier this month, Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson advised The Arizona Republic that the remaining 10 groups within the Pac-12 conference have been “united” after USC and UCLA’s choice to depart for the Big Ten.
An Arizona Wildcats athletics insider painted a really completely different image of the conference in a current interview, calling the conference “fractured” by conference realignment discuss.
“That’s why the Pac-12 is right here within the first place,” 247Sports’ Jason Scheer advised 365 Sports this week. “The Pac-12 may’ve expanded years in the past and mainly determined it did not must. Schools like Washington, Oregon, Colorado look like one in every of them. They suppose they’re higher than the Big 12, that staying collectively within the Pac-10 or no matter it might be, with the lecturers and all that, they will make an argument that they are higher than the Big 12.
“Then there are colleges like Arizona that really feel like there’s advantages to the Big 12 as effectively. I completely suppose it is a thought course of, and it has fractured the conference.”
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Scheer’s feedback are in stark distinction to Anderson’s, who just lately advised the Arizona Republic’s Michelle Gardner that “all the things out there was overblown and exaggerated and missing any credibility” in conference realignment hypothesis for the Pac-12.
“We’re on stable footing, received a stable plan transferring ahead,” Anderson mentioned. “The colleges remaining are united and we will be robust transferring ahead. We do not should do something simply out of panic or desperation.”
Speculation continues to swirl round the way forward for the Pac-12 with USC and UCLA’s impending departure for the Big Ten and Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren added to that hypothesis this week when he mentioned that extra conference expansion may very well be coming.
“The Big Ten conference was born out of a need to be daring,” Warren mentioned. “There are two forms of folks on the earth, they take a look at change as an issue or see it as a chance.
“I’m embracing change, I’m going to be very aggressive, I’ve been that means my whole profession and I simply need to be sure that we construct an atmosphere as a result of our student-athletes, followers and universities deserve that.”
He continued: “I get requested each day, ‘What’s subsequent?’,” Warren mentioned. “It might embrace future expansion, however will probably be completed for the suitable causes, on the proper time, with our college students’ educational and athletic empowerment on the heart.
“We is not going to broaden simply to broaden. It can be strategic, it is going to add further worth to our conference and it’ll present a platform to have our student-athletes to be placed on a bigger platform to allow them to construct their careers.”
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The hypothesis about the way forward for the conference elevated this week when CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported that the Big Ten is “evaluating the worthiness” of including California, Oregon, Stanford and Washington to broaden its conference.
Those 4 Pac-12 colleges doubtlessly becoming a member of USC and UCLA within the Big Ten would go away Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oregon State and Washington State because the six remaining groups within the Pac-12, doubtlessly collapsing the conference, Dodd wrote.
“Such a transfer would strip the Pac-12 of half its members,” Dodd wrote. “Sources point out the Pac-12 would most probably should reform to remain afloat with invites to the likes of San Diego State and Fresno State. One label placed on that grouping was ‘Mountain West Plus.'”
In his report, Dodd indicated that some remaining Pac-12 colleges may doubtlessly find yourself within the Big 12.
“The Pac-12 may very well be in peril on two fronts,” he wrote. “The Big 12 can also be zeroing on westward expansion with Arizona, a minimum of, in response to sources. There is not any indication if Arizona State would comply with, though CBS Sports beforehand reported that ASU, Colorado and Utah have been the Big 12’s targets. San Diego State is in play for each the Pac-12 and Big 12, sources point out.”
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Scheer appeared to echo a few of that considering in his feedback to 365 Sports, a minimum of when it comes to the Arizona Wildcats.
“I really feel comfy saying that the Arizona administration wish to be within the Big 12 proper now,” Scheer mentioned. “There are points to that at play. They do not need to go alone. If Utah comes with them, that might most likely be the strongest possibility. If Utah says ‘We’ll go to the Big 12 with you,’ that turns into a state of affairs the place they each soar directly.
“If Arizona goes to wish one other faculty to come back with it, I believe they’re keen to see if the Pac-12 could make it value it for them to stick with a sure monetary provide. But proper now, as an instance the negotiating window closed and the presents weren’t coming in, Arizona could be gone. I believe they’re most likely essentially the most energetic faculty, from what I perceive and what I’ve heard, in trying in the direction of the Big 12.
As for the “fracture” among the many remaining Pac-12 colleges, Scheer mentioned: “There is completely a gaggle of faculties within the conference that really feel that means (reacting to a Denver Post columnist saying that the Colorado administration felt the Big 12 was a ‘ JUCO league’). I do not know if I’d go so far as to say a JUCO league, however I completely suppose that there are colleges within the (Pac-12) conference which might be smug.”
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Could Arizona and Arizona State be on completely different sides of this doable “fracture” within the Pac-12?
Scheer curiously shared some mild on the subject in a special interview with 365 Sports earlier this month, when speaking about the opportunity of ASU and Arizona probably ending up in several conferences because of school realignment.
When he was requested about Arizona and ASU being tied collectively in the identical conference, Scheer mentioned: “I have not been capable of get a transparent reply about that. Every time I requested, it is type of, ‘We’re gonna do what’s greatest for ourselves.’ My intestine tells me that they’re tied. I might be actually stunned if Arizona strikes with out ASU or vice versa. It seems like Arizona is type of driving the practice just a little bit by being just a little extra aggressive than ASU, however I might be actually stunned that there is a situation the place they do not transfer collectively. You received to suppose, additionally, as soon as a few these colleges transfer within the Pac-12, as an instance it is simply Arizona and Colorado that resolve to maneuver, the opposite colleges should comply with. They’ll don’t have any alternative. And even when ASU needs to go searching or type of see the panorama or wait a bit, they actually will not have that possibility. And so to me, these colleges are fairly tied collectively. I I’d be stunned in the event that they broke up.”
He added: “It’s robust to say. I do not suppose so,” about Arizona transferring with out ASU. “I actually do not, as a result of soccer type of guidelines the decision-making course of, and the truth is Arizona soccer hasn’t been enticing in fairly some time. And, it is not like ASU soccer is tremendous enticing, but it surely’s type of the deal the place, much like the Big Ten wanting USC and UCLA, you need these collectively to get the entire LA market. If you are the Big 12 you need these Arizona colleges collectively, and that is why I believe it would be tough for Arizona to maneuver. Now, if ASU places its foot down and says, ‘We’re not going wherever,’ it may get actually fascinating. I really feel assured in saying that if it was completely as much as UofA, and what they need, to do with no outdoors forces, it will be the Big 12 all the best way.”
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Reach Jeremy Cluff at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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