It’s been a rough period of time for the Pac 12 Conference. They are about to lose their two marquee participants – USC, which has won eleven national championships in football, and UCLA, which has captured eleven national titles in basketball. They’re both going to the Big Ten as of 2024.
The conference has been a little slow to react, and might lose even more teams. In addition to that, they may lose prospective new members to competing conferences, like the Big 12.
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That is why this Final Four is considered to be so important to many observers. While there may have been a question as to whether to add San Diego State as a member, now the question is, how could they NOT?
So how much of a chance does SDSU have to win the title? Here’s what the odds look like at BetOnline:
San Diego State +400
Miami Florida +475
Florida Atlantic +650
The Aztecs would immediately bring the Pac 12 an elite program. It doesn’t look like they are going backwards with Brian Dutcher at the helm. You can’t argue that they are not bringing a viable market to the table, as San Diego is ninth in terms of population.
Having lost the Chargers to Los Angeles, there is more relative interest in Aztec athletics in the area. And that goes for football too, as there is a new stadium for the university.
if you listen to the people around the SDSU basketball program, they are of the opinion that UCLA and USC really didn’t want to allow a competitor in Southern California, and because of that there has been some resistance on the part of the Pac 12 to let them in.
But this is a conference that needs credible schools, and needs them now. To lose a San Diego State team that wins a national title to the Big 12 would be a genuine killer. And make no mistake – after they themselves lost Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC, they are absolutely eager to add to their lineup with whoever looks viable. Cincinnati, Houston, Central Florida and BYU are going to be coming aboard. And just imagine if the best basketball conference in America (arguably) were to add a national champion, or at least a team that got to the Final Four.
At this juncture, SDSU is the school that is in the driver’s seat. It provides an awful lot to the potential media rights package the Pac 12 is trying to sell, in the sense that it would give more “product” to the broadcast partner (along with SMU, which also may come in with them) and more attention to that product because of its newfound status.
It just looks like a no-brainer as it stands now. It is time for the Pac 12 to act quickly. They need to beef up their program offering, and the rights buyer – whoever that is – need to know WHO is going to be in those programs. And they had better come up with a figure that makes all the members satisfied. That’s not going to be an easy task.