The Pac-12 is in some trouble with its current negotiations for its next media rights deal. The league is out there in the public trying to land schools such as SMU and to a lesser degree behind the scenes with San Diego State.
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff was scene at an SMU basketball on Feb. 9, a rare thing when expansion and realignment happens in back rooms. This one feels different and the Pac-12 could be seen as desperate.
San Diego State is a team to keep an eye on but so is Fresno State, and not just for the Pac-12.
Veteran Pacific Northwest reporter John Canzano has some nuggets about the Bulldogs talking to both the Big 12 and Pac-12.
• Keep an eye on Fresno State as an addition to the Big 12 Conference. I’m told the Pac-12 has only had “intermittent” contact with the Bulldogs. No visit. Nothing planned. I don’t think the presidents and chancellors — especially the ones a few hours away in the Bay Area — in the Pac-12 view Fresno as a “must have.”
• Fresno State and the Big 12 are talking, though. [Big 12 commissioner Brett] Yormark and Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval have had “multiple conversations” a source said. The Bulldogs would love to join a Power Five conference.
It is no shock that Fresno State wants to join a power conference. Their football program has always been above average but over the past few years has taken the next step with Mountain West championships.
Oh, and there is this graphic with the Bulldogs trying to flex its reach.
It makes sense for Fresno State to show off as much as it can, and if it works good for them.
There is reason for hopeful but also skeptical about the Bulldogs joining a power conference.
The hopeful reason is that the Big 12 is wanting to be in all four time zones. Yormark joined the Canzano & Wilner: The Podcast and elaborated on the want or need to be a national conference.
“I’m not targeting anyone specifically. I’ve been saying it. I’ve been pretty transparent and intentional that we’d like that fourth time zone to create more value for our media partners… would I like to be a national conference in all the different time zones and from a geography standpoint have our Big 12 flag all over the country? 100 percent… we’ll see where we end up.”
Adding another TV slot would be huge and right now the Big 12 has only BYU in the Mountain time zone, so adding a team like Fresno State in the Pacific time zone would add a later time slot with more options.
The talks for Fresno State in both the Big 12 and Pac-12 seem prematures, and the latter league seems to have the Bulldogs below SMU, San Diego State, and possibly even UNLV.
The Rebels are in the talks due to their potential of market size and Kliavkoff lived there when working for MGM Resorts International.
Also to consider is the Bay Area schools that may not be to keen on adding a nearby school like Fresno State.
The Bulldogs are doing all the right things by talking to both leagues with the goal of bettering their situation. They do however seem to be down on the ladder for consideration for either league.
If I had to pick one of those leagues, the Big 12 seems more likely than the Pac-12.
More Fresno State!
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