Pac-12 expansion prediction: San Diego State, SMU, Mountain West makeover for conference

The Pac-12 could soon look very different according to one college insider's prediction for the conference.
The Pac-12 could soon look very different according to one college insider's prediction for the conference.

College conference realignment and expansion speculation is swirling once again.

And a lot of the chatter involves the future of the Pac-12 Conference.

What will that future look like?

One college insider has come out with an interesting prediction for the Pac-12 in college conference expansion.

The writer, CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, predicts that the conference will undergo a huge makeover if the Pac-12 falls apart amid its media rights deal saga.

That makeover would involve that conference potentially losing Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Washington and then adding SMU and some Mountain West programs, like San Diego State.

Of the potential for a very different looking Pac-12, Dodd wrote: "Out of that upheaval emerges a conference of leftovers. Think of a Pac-12 -- or whatever it is called by then -- attempting to forge ahead with its four remaining schools (Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington State) while filling the rest of the conference with Mountain West programs. (It could also go the other direction.) San Diego State and SMU are already projected as expansion candidates if the Pac-12 survives, so pencil them in to make it six teams in the hybrid league."

Big 12 expansion prediction: 4 Pac-12 teams to join conference

Big Ten expansion prediction:2 Pac-12 teams to conference

Dodd's prediction for the Pac-12 would have Cal, Stanford, Washington State and Oregon State with Boise State, Fresno State, SMU and San Diego State.

"That lineup would reduce the Power Five to the Power Four, creating implications beyond the Pac-12 itself." he wrote.

More:Big 12 expansion, realignment speculation includes Pac-12 schools Arizona State, Arizona

Ducks Wire also projected a big upheaval for the Pac-12 in conference realignment and expansion with Cal, Oregon State and Washington State in a conference with leftover Pac-12 teams and the Mountain West.

Zachary Neel wrote of Cal: "It’s a little hard to project where Cal is going to end up. Dennis Dodd reports that the Big Ten no longer has an interest, and the Big 12 may not want to take them on either. There’s a good chance that after the Big Ten and Big 12 raid the conference, there are a few schools left standing, and they end up merging with the Mountain West — Boise State, Fresno State, UNLV, SDSU, etc. — and creating a new conference."

Of Oregon State, he wrote: "Much like Cal, it seems that Oregon State could be left in a tough spot should the Pac-12 break up. The Big 12 might not want to bring them along with the Four-Corner schools, and they aren’t big enough for the Big Ten to want either. They could end up being a cornerstone program of the Pac-12/Mountain West merger."

And of Washington State: "The Cougars are another team that could be left without a chair in the realignment talks, and they might end up alongside Oregon State and Cal as one of the more prominent schools in a potential Pac-12/Mountain West merger."

More:Pac-12 expansion, realignment speculation: Media rights situation bleak for conference?

More:ASU, Arizona conference realignment odds: Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12 for Sun Devils, Wildcats?

As for Stanford, Ducks Wire predicted that it could go independent and not be a part of a conference.

"The original thought was that in potential expansion, the Big Ten would want to bring Stanford and Cal along with Oregon and Washington because of the media market, but according to Dodd, they may have cooled on the idea," Neel wrote. "I think that Stanford may think about going independent, much like Notre Dame, or becoming a cornerstone program of a Pac-12/Mountain West merger."

Those predictions would result in a very different Pac-12 Conference. Could they come true?

We'll find out as college football realignment and expansion continues.

More:Pac-12 has been 'fractured' by Big Ten, Big 12 conference realignment, expansion chatter

More:Are Pac-12 schools ASU, Arizona a package deal in college conference realignment?

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Pac-12 expansion prediction: Mountain West makeover for conference