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A Friday of Conference Realignment Timeline

This has been absolute chaos. Let’s try to keep up.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

All this conference realignment mumbo-jumbo has almost been too much to keep up with. The Pac was putting together a second-half comeback while my coffee was brewing this morning, and by the time I had the cup of Joe down, the Pac looked to be on life support again.

Here’s a timeline of the chaos that has been conference realignment, and as I’m writing this, it’s barely even lunchtime. We’ll update this throughout the day as more is sure to change and more rumors will most certainly swirl.

9:22 p.m.: Apparently the Big 12 not only ruined the Pac-12’s night, but also the ACC’s. Ross Dellenger of Yahoo! Sports reported ACC presidents were scheduled to meet Friday night with plans of adding 5-7 Pac-12 schools. I guess four are still on the table for the ACC’s taking.

8:35 p.m.: It was as if a ghost was speaking. The Pac-12 released a statement after losing six members in one day. The short statement concluded with, “We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities.” Not sure who “we” even includes at this point.

Read the full statement here.

8:24 p.m.: It’s official. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah are joining the Big 12.

7:25 p.m.: ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Big 12 presidents and chancellors voted unanimously to admit Arizona State and Utah into the conference starting next year. ASU and Utah follow Colorado and Arizona from the Pac-12 to the Big 12. The move, once official, will put the Big 12 at 16 members for next year. The Pac would be down to four.

6:23 p.m.: Cal and Stanford issued statements amid their conference’s fallout, but the Golden Bears appear to plan on being much more aggressive than Stanford and Washington State, stating, “We are not watching and waiting from the sidelines.”

At this time, Oregon State is the only remaining Pac-12 school that hasn’t made a public comment, but expect that to follow soon and echo the statements of the other three.

You can read Cal’s full statement here.

Read Stanford’s here.

5:01 p.m.: Brett McMurphy added more context to the Thamel tweet, reporting that the three Pac-12 schools’ (Arizona, Arizona State and Utah) move to the Big 12 was pending a formal approval by the league and that it could be finalized in the next 24 hours.

4:25 p.m.: It took until nearly dinnertime, but, like the Big Ten has today, the Big 12 now gets to reap the Pac-12’s losses. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Utah and Arizona State formally applied for membership to the Big 12. Big 12 presidents and chancellors will reportedly discuss the move later Friday. The two schools would follow Colorado, which made the move last week to start all this, and Arizona, which had its membership approved Thursday. The addition of Utah and ASU would put the Big 12 at 16 members next year after losing OU and Texas.

2:15 p.m.: With its current conference crumbling, Washington State released a statement from its president and Director of Athletics, saying, “We are disappointed with the recent decisions by some of our Pac-12 peers.” The statement said the university is “working diligently to determine what is next,” but WSU, along with Oregon State, Stanford and Cal, look to be the schools left out once everything settles. The only options may be drop out of a Power 5 conference for the Mountain West or hope for a miracle the Pac survives if they have to stay put. Once moves by Arizona, Arizona State and Utah inevitably happen, attention will then focus on those left behind.

2 p.m.: Just over a week after his school left the Pac-12 for the Big 12, Colorado coach Deion Sanders chimed in Friday about conference realignment during his post-practice news conference. To paraphrase, Sanders said conference realignment is all about the money and that he saw some hypocrisy in all of this, saying, “Then you get mad at the players when they chase (the money). How is that? How do the grownups get mad at the players for chasing it when the colleges are chasing it?”

Sanders elaborated about the conference realignment chaos: “I don’t care nothing about no different teams moving. We’re trying to win, man. I don’t care what conference, who we’re playing. We’re trying to win.”

You can read more about what Sanders said here.

12:30 p.m.: With Colorado, Oregon and Washington leaving, Utah and Arizona State seem to be looking for their exit strategy now. Brett McMurphy reported both schools are “showing interest” in joining the Big 12. It may not be mutual, though, as McMurphy also reported the Big 12 is “exploring its options.” Arizona, which has the same board of regents as ASU, has already applied to join the Big 12. Colorado announced it was leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12 last week. The addition of those four Pac schools would put the Big 12 at 16 members next year.

11:40 a.m.: Brett McMurphy reported Oregon and Washington are, in fact, leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the two schools are expected to formally apply for membership Friday.

This contradicted the reports from earlier in the morning that made it seem as if there was still hope of a comeback for the Pac. With the addition of Oregon and Washington putting the Big Ten at 18 schools, McMurphy also reported that the Big Ten still isn’t finished, looking to reach 20 schools to double the conference’s namesake. Eighteen members in a conference would already be the largest conference ever in college football, according to McMurphy.

10 a.m.: McMurphy reported that the Pac-12 was unable to get its media rights deal done, which is probably what led to the report above of Oregon and Washington jumping ship. The media rights deal is with Apple to stream all Pac-12 games. The deal expires at the end of the week, according to McMurphy.

9:20 a.m.: Sportico released an article reporting that Florida State is working with JPMorgan Chase to “explore how the school’s athletic department could raise capital from institutional funds, such as private equity.” This came in the midst of FSU being vocal about its displeasures with the ACC earlier this week.

8:45 a.m.: Reports looked hopeful for the Pac-12 for the first time in over a week. The Pac might manage to stay together and Arizona president Bobby Robbins appeared committed to the Pac after Arizona seemed destined for the Big 12, according to McMurphy.

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