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Matching Big 12 Programs with their Pac-12 Equivalent

OK, let’s get weird.



People love to hate on the Pac-12. Maybe because its games start after bedtime, or because its network is hard to find (at best).

But that sure doesn’t stop us from talking about the league out west.

In fact, people love to talk about the Pac-12, even if it’s just for conference expansion talk or lol’ing at USC or doing the same at former Big 12 member Colorado. Come to think of it, that’s really the only reason we ever talk about the Pac-12.

Truth is, though, the Big 12 isn’t all that dissimilar. In terms of annual revenue, the two are in the same ball park, thus the recent discussion — if only a hypothetical — about a potential merger, geographic oddities be damned.

Conference FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
SEC $32.7M $40.4M $41M $43.7M $45.3M
Big Ten $32.4M $34.8M $37M $54M $55M
ACC $26.2M $23.8M $26.6M $29.5M
Big 12 $23.4M $28.5M $34.3M $36.5M $38.8M
Pac 12 $25.1M $28.7M $30.9M $31.3M

To take this argument one step further, I wanted to try and compare Pac-12 programs to Big 12 programs. Figure I’ve got some time, so why not? I’ll state my best case for why I think each program is a match below.

Pac-12-Big 12 matches
1. Oregon

Big 12 match: Baylor

Am I basing this strictly off the flashy uniforms each program boasts? Well, yeah. Baylor is the midwest Oregon on a slightly less appealing color spectrum.

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Big 12 match: Oklahoma

UCLA has an historic athletic program (especially in basketball). Oklahoma has an historic athletic program (especially in football). Also, both willing to spend some big cash to win big.

3. USC

Big 12 match: Texas

This was the easiest match. Just like USC, Texas absolutely believes it is a top-5 job despite results annually on the contrary. Maybe it’s a top-5 job but neither have been top-5 programs the last decade.

4. Arizona State

Big 12 match: Texas Tech

Both programs almost always have (fairly) relevant football and basketball programs, and both are often overshadowed by the other major university (universities) in the state. (Texas Tech with Texas, TCU and Baylor, and Arizona State with Arizona.)

5. Arizona

Big 12 match: Kansas

Both great basketball programs, both pretty wildly unsuccessful football programs by contrast. Arizona has just one 10-win season since the turn of the century!

6. Colorado

Big 12 match: West Virginia

West Virginia’s the one Big 12 team that makes little sense geographically. Colorado’s pushing it.

7. Stanford

Big 12 match: TCU

A well-known institution like Stanford, and both are private. Both have had varying levels of success — some even sustained — over the last decade.

8. Washington

Big 12 match: Iowa State

Hands down, UW is more successful. But — and this is anecdotal, but hear me out — I feel like both are generally held in a higher light than they probably should be as football programs. UW has only three conference titles since 1995, and Iowa State ….. zero since 1912. (LOL.)

9. Utah

Big 12 match: Oklahoma State

Both have wildly successful, tenured head coaches. Both win somewhere between seven and 10 games with regularity. And neither are ever really considered a frontrunner — even when they probably should be.

10. California

Big 12 match: Kansas State

Often forgot about it, but almost always a factor — either as a darkhorse or as a spoiler. Gritty history with tough-nosed coaches, too.



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