So improvisation has almost become a sanctioned sport in conference offices.
The Big 12 has moved to add schools like Cincinnati and Central Florida. Many in the ACC, the only Power 5 conference whose membership has not been affected by this round of realignment, hope to conjure up a renegotiation of a TV deal that won’t expire until 2036.
The Pac-12 presents the bravest face one can show when surprised. On Thursday, the league declared itself “extremely surprised and disappointed,” even though conference officials had worried for years about the possibility of a USC exit, saying on Friday it would “explore all expansion options.” ”.
“All 10 university presidents and chancellors remain committed to a shared mission of academic and athletic excellence on behalf of our student-athletes,” the league said.
The remaining 10 schools are Arizona, Arizona State, California, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. However, some of them would be prizes for other leagues due to their placement in major media markets or their athletic reputation. And in college sports, pledges of allegiance, whether from prospects, coaches or colleges, are often impermanent, particularly when it comes to promises of big money or threats of irrelevance.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey did not explicitly rule out the idea of adding more schools. In some respects, his statement of two Friday prayers reads like an invitation to potential members.
“Conference membership turnover has been a constant in college athletics over the years, and the modern issues facing college sports have only hastened further realignment,” he said.