Conference expansion report speculates that Utah might leave the Big 12

Could Utah be on the move?

Dick Weiss believes so despite Utah still being in the process of leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12. If he is correct, the decision might well usher in another round of conference expansion

Weiss is a legendary (and highly reputable) sports writer who has worked for the Philadelphia Daily News and the New York Daily News. He reported on Saturday night that Utah could be set to leave the Big 12 and join the ACC, marking the latest news concerning conference realignment.

Utah was approved to join the Big 12 last summer. The Utes officially become Big 12 members in August.

It is an intriguing yet curious report. Were Utah to join a new conference as Weiss is reporting, they’d be moving conferences along with former Pac-12 members Cal and Stanford (and SMU is leaving the AAC), all of whom are ACC-bound this year. But why would Utah want to leave for the ACC?

Weiss said it is about the television presence of the ACC on ESPN. But the Big 12 has a contract with Fox and ESPN, arguably putting them in a better spot than the ACC. Conference expansion and realignment is being fueled by the acquisition of media markets.

If a program is in a prime media market (such as Maryland and Rutgers were for the Big Ten), a power conference will come calling.


And with their recent media rights deal, the Big 12 is set to surpass the ACC in terms of financial resources. So why would Utah leave a situation that makes geographic sense to join the ACC for potentially less money?

It may not make any sense. But if the ACC can make more money by adding Utah and help save its conference then anything and everything will be on the table.

And since when has anything relating to conference expansion made any actual sense?

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire