Ten Biggest Losers in Conference Realignment

In our final look back at the summer of realignment turmoil, we want to recognize the Biggest Losers as athletic programs sought high ground and greater revenue but failed.

#1. Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff. His hesitant actions turned his Power Five conference into the Pac-4 as conference membership tumbled  – Ouch!

#2. Gonzaga and UConn. These two schools were slated as possible additions to the Big 12 Conference prior to the Pac-12 exodus. Instead, the Big 12 beefed up its conference profile with the addition of Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado.

#3. San Diego State was hung out to dry by the Pac-12. After announcing their interest in leaving the Mountain West for greener pastures, the Aztecs were left holding the bag, waiting for an invitation to the Pac-12. The Aztecs had to return hat-in-hand to the Mountain West.

#4. When San Diego State decided to return to the Mountain West, the Mountain West no longer had an interest in filling that open slot with a possible North Dakota State selection. The Bison were left to graze in the Missouri Valley Conference for football and the Summit League for all other sports. Dreams of a conference upgrade in football are now a distant memory.

#5. The American Athletic Conference’s SMU was also seen as a possible replacement for Pac-12 refugees. The Mustangs will be mired another year in the AAC until the Pac-12 either collapses, poaches Mountain West and/or AAC members, or gets picked apart by the Big 12, Big 10, or the distant ACC.

#6. Carbon footprint and academics play second fiddle to airplane rides and media rights deals as far-flung power conference members cross time zones and common sense.

#7. Oregon State has to pay for its Reser Stadium remodel ($161 million) as its Pac-12 media rights dollars melt away. No worse time to be a Beaver than when the bill collectors come calling.

#8. Stanford proved that being the best all-around athletic department in the country (26 of 29 LEARFIELD Director Cups won) means nothing if their basketball and football teams can’t win.

#9. What is worse for Cal? Staying in a potentially reconstructed Pac-12 with potential members like Fresno State and Boise State or waiting breathlessly for an offer from the Big 10 after rejecting the Big 12’s advances? The Golden Bears think more highly of themselves than anyone else does.

#10. Washington State University. No one really cares outside the Evergreen State. Sad.

Honorable Mention: A costly ACC grant-of-rights agreement keeps Clemson and Florida State in tow while the sexy SEC looks on.

3 thoughts on “Ten Biggest Losers in Conference Realignment”

  1. #1. A fool that should have grabbed San Diego State and SMU during negotiations.

    #2. Sucks indeed that a “king’s ransom” that those Pac-12 universities don’t have made it a longshot to get a promotion.

    #3. Frustrating that the Pac was so stupid not to grab them when they had the chance. On the bright side, the Mountain West is now the top western conference in the country (as long as they don’t expand past the Mountain Time Zone).

    #4. Good. The Missouri Valley Conference should try to upgrade to Single-A/FBS.

    #5. See #3 minus the Mountain West part.

    #6. This is all the fault of the stupid bleep networks that OVERPAY conferences (especially FOX)! Of course, the conferences and especially the individual universities are not innocent in all this too. USC and UCLA etc. are going to learn the hard way that money will NOT eliminate CONSTANT JETLAG in ALL sports! Just ask West Virginia how well they’ve been doing since being forced into the Big 12 thanks to the ACC raiding their previous conference.

    #7. I wonder if Oregon State wanted San Diego State and SMU RIGHT NOW, but got outvoted? If true, then you have to feel for them.

    #8. Sadly, Stanford has to take parts of the blame since I bet they are one of those responsible for not acting fast when they had the chance to rebuild the conference.

    #9. See #8.

    #10. See #7.

    Honorable Mention: Don’t be so sure. 7 universities (Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, and North Carolina State) are part of a “rebellion”, and they only need to STRONG ARM one more to DISSOLVE the ACC (it only takes 8 to dissolve the conference). The question is who?

    Georgia Tech?
    Wake Forest?
    Boston College?

    It won’t be Notre Dame since they are runned by bleeps!

  2. Jetlag doesn’t seem to hurt the Pios much, who fly to 85% of away opponents in all sports, most of which are not in the Mountain time zone, and they’ve been winning in most sports for decades now, especially hockey, lacrosse and soccer.

    With enough practice, you can get used to many things.

  3. I could see Boston College making a big change. The Boston Globe has been writing about their situation and warning they need to act fast or be left behind.

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