Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss the upcoming Pac-12 media rights deal and its effect on potential conference realignment this summer, and debate if it even makes sense for schools to be jumping conferences based on media rights money.
ROSS DELLENGER: --the Pac-12's TV deal and how that might impact everything. And that's really what's going on here. Everybody is kind of watching what happens to the Pac-12, and that will determine how many dominoes kind of drop when it comes to realignment this summer across the country. So if the Pac-12 gets a good enough deal, and they all stay together and remain intact, you wouldn't think there'd be very many dominoes, right?
If the Pac-12's deal isn't strong enough, and they lose a couple of teams, it could really create, right, a big conference realignment wave at the Power Five level. It really could have a really, really busy summer if the Pac-12 doesn't get a good enough TV deal. This summer could be a little slower if the Pac-12 gets a good enough TV deal.
That's kind of the summary of that story. Everybody's watching that war in the west, the realignment war in the west between the Pac-12 and the Big 12.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, so that's where-- we're sitting, continuing our candlelight vigil for the Pac-12 media deal. When that happens, we'll see what else is going to happen or not happen, more or less. The things that jumped out to me, a couple of things from the story, which was super interesting. One, that Kevin Warren did want to go get Washington and Oregon during the winter. And I believe the quote in there was that he went to the media partners and said, show me the money, and there wasn't any money.
So there had been speculation since day one, since the day that USC and UCLA jumped. Were Oregon and Washington going to follow? Did they want to follow? Was there a path for them to follow? And for now, there's not, apparently. There's just not enough interest slash revenue from the Big Ten side of it.
But to Ross's point, yes, how much does that change if suddenly they're on the market and you can get them maybe at a discounted rate or whatever, if they're desperate to join a new league? And then do you really want them or not? I would think USC and UCLA would want them for just ease of having people to schedule and play against out there. But that's TBD. Maybe they don't want any competition on the West Coast.
DAN WETZEL: But I mean, the idea that this is about a few million dollars here or there, I don't know that you don't make all that money up, particularly these Pac-12 schools that don't sell out and have these huge-- it's only Utah and Oregon, kind of Washington, that are really maxing out the fan interest and stuff like that.
There's a lot of money to be made in other spots than just media rights. There's just this all-encompassing jump for the guaranteed TV money. It won't make your team more exciting.
PAT FORDE: No.
DAN WETZEL: It's not good for your-- if you're just a fan of the team, it's just not better.
ROSS DELLENGER: Well, and I think the thinking is that--
DAN WETZEL: It's rarely better.
ROSS DELLENGER: --it'll make you more competitive, but not really.
DAN WETZEL: It doesn't.
ROSS DELLENGER: If you're going to a stronger conference, in a way, it makes it less competitive that you reach the playoffs, sometimes.