The PAC-12 finds itself in an undesirable position as the college football season approaches. The league has been informed that it will lose eight of its 12 members come season’s end.
A number of programs have made the decision to part ways with the once prestigious conference. Now, it will call on the family of a former star in hopes of saving the league.
Andrew Luck was a superstar at Stanford, throwing for 9,430 yards over three seasons at Stanford. The passer tallied an incredible 82-22 touchdown to interception rate before being selected first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for the Conference of Champions, a lot has changed since Luck’s playing days.
In the summer of 2022, the sports world was hit with the bombshell news that USC and UCLA would be leaving the PAC-12 to join the Big Ten. A year later, Colorado revealed its intent to return to the Big XII.
With nine conference members still remaining, the league heads did their best to keep the conference intact.
Those attempts would be thwarted due to the media rights negotiations that have taken place this offseason. The PAC-12 missed on most of the major networks, and even turned down an offer from ESPN.
The result was a potential deal with streaming service Apple worth a reported $25 million per team.
When that offer was brought to university leaders, some disapproved. Arizona’s president even compared it to “selling candy for Little League,” though those remaining schools supposedly planned to come together and sign a Grant of Rights deal to keep from further attrition.
Oregon and Washington opted to bolt for the Big Ten, apparently letting the rest of the league know on the morning of that signing.
With doubt again swirling, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah followed Colorado to the Big XII. Now, just Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State are left, though they, too, are being contacted by outside conferences.
In hopes of keeping the last four together, while potentially building the league back up through the addition of Group of Five teams, the PAC-12 has called on the Luck family.
PAC-12 calls on Andrew Luck’s dad to help save the conference.
Oliver Luck has held a multitude of different positions within NCAA sports while also having once been the commissioner of the XFL. The PAC-12 is now seeking his expertise.
He’s been hired in an advisory role, according to conference insider John Canzano. He’ll have the task of analyzing the pros and cons of moving forward with the four teams that still remain.
Canzano writes that the PAC-12 has around $40 million in an “emergency fund.” Would the league use that money on adding another team or two? Or is there a potential to secure a TV deal with the four current schools alone?
Things look bleak for the Conference of Champions at the moment as they’ve lost all of their most marketable brands. Still, Canzano asked one of his sources if he’s being naive in believing the PAC-12 can rebuild.
The answer was, “No.”
Am I being naive to think rebuilding the Pac-4 is a viable option?
The answer: “No you are not.”
We’ll see if Luck can help save what’s left of the league or if it completely crumbles in the near future.