SMU and San Diego State are leading candidates to join Pac-12 | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss reports that SMU and San Diego State are the leading candidates to replace USC and UCLA in the Pac-12.

Video Transcript

PAT FORDE: It doesn't fix everything. It may not fix much, but it's the best options available, and it does add inventory and bulk.

DAN WETZEL: The Pac 12 is zeroed in on San Diego State and SMU in an effort to return to 12 teams, and provide the, in college football parlance, inventory to try to make something out of this TV deal that I don't believe is gone quite how they were hoping. You would get up to 90 games now. Adding two teams, you add a whole bunch of games. So even if San Diego State and SMU are not exactly USC and UCLA in terms of a television draw, you get more things to sell and that will help. We can get into the TV part of this, but why don't we just start with this. If you were picking two teams, Pat, are these the two you would pick if you were the Pac 12?

PAT FORDE: I think so. If I didn't feel like I could pry anybody loose from the Big 12, you're not going to get Houston to change their mind, or BYU to change their mind, these would be the places I would go. To your point, they are not a cure all. It's not a panacea. They don't replace losing one of the biggest football brands, and one of the biggest men's basketball brands in the history of their sports. But the things that they give you, even more than TV market, OK, Southern California, San Diego, and Dallas, well, SMU doesn't really deliver the Dallas TV market. And San Diego State doesn't really deliver SoCal. But you want recruiting areas in those two places. I mean, the Pac 12 would love to have a foothold of any kind in Texas, which is what SMU could theoretically give you. A chance to sell your league in the DFW Metroplex and then a return to SoCal with San Diego State with a brand new stadium and theoretically the chance to then be the Pac 12 Southern California team.

So it doesn't fix everything. It may not fix much, but it's the best options available, and it does add, as you said, inventory, and bulk, and you just-- you need that, I think, for security's sake and for what you're trying to sell to the networks and other media entities.

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, I don't-- among the options out there and obviously excluding all the Power Five teams thinking that nobody would leave, like the Big 12 or anything like that. If you exclude all of them, then yeah, I mean, arguably these two might be the top two. I think other teams potentially that the Pac 12 would look at, and I think are looking at, is Gonzaga for basketball, and that's come up with the Big 12. But I think the Pac 12 has been kind of zeroed in somewhat on Gonzaga as well. Boise kind of comes up, and geographically that makes a lot of sense, but as we all know Boise is just kind of so remote and they don't bring-- they do bring inventory, but they don't bring a ton of eyeballs. Same with Fresno State which is, again, makes more sense geographically. But SMU, you get your foothold in Texas and right in the middle of Dallas, and it makes a lot of sense from that standpoint. But this is all about content and inventory, more so than I think eyeballs. I think the streaming services that, which probably are Amazon, that Pac 12 is in negotiations with, want more content, want more inventory. One thing SMU also gives you is the Central time zone, and that's something the Pac 12 doesn't have. So you could see games in the Central time zone, kind of like back-- Big 12 went and got BYU to get in the Mountain Time zone.

So if you go back to last summer it was made pretty clear that it's been long thought that SMU, or that San Diego State was a target for the Pac 12, and I think that's kind of been known. I think it's-- the missing piece was who's going to be their running mate, so to speak, when if San Diego State joins, who's going to join with them. And so again, all those were thrown out like the Boise, and the Fresno, and the SMU, and it appears given that George Kliavkoff is visiting SMU and doing it so publicly, it leaked out obviously with Brett McMurphy Tuesday night. But it was kind of leaked out anyway, because he's going to a basketball, or supposed to go to a basketball game Wednesday night, which is unusual. This is unusually public to be courting a school so in the public view. I think it's interesting, and there's been some interesting reaction from around college football and from the Pac 12 officials, kind of like scratching their head of why is this playing out so publicly. This is not usually how this happens, but here we are.