Even Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff couldn’t have foreseen the conference losing its biggest media market after his first year on the job.
When UCLA and USC announced they would move to the Big 10 for the 2024 season and take the Los Angeles market with them, it marked the beginning of the nd for the Conference of Champions. This has sent school such as Oregon and Washington scrambling for a new home either in the Big 10, Big XII or the ACC.
As Kliavkoff is set to negotiate the Pac-12’s next media contract, he’s been put at a huge disadvantage as he won’t know what markets he’ll have to sell to prospective media partners. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t what Kliavkoff planned for when he took the job last year.
We went to our buddy TrojansWire.com editor Matt Zemek for some clarity on the subject. This was his take.
Kliavkoff was definitely caught off guard by this. Reporting has said this had been going on for a few months, but there’s little question that the origination point — the spark of inspiration — was the Texas-Oklahoma move to the SEC last summer. That opened the door to a new exploration for USC and UCLA. Texas and Oklahoma both moved to the SEC for a big, new infusion of cash. USC and UCLA are doing basically the same thing.
It’s obviously more of a surprise here with the Trojans and Bruins because of the geography-shattering nature of the move. Texas and OU playing in the SEC doesn’t create unique logistical headaches. USC and UCLA in the Big Ten does. We have reached a point where geography really doesn’t matter that much. Texas-OU didn’t bring us to that realization. USC and UCLA to the Big Ten is a far more transformative and consequential moment for college football (and not in a good way, if you ask me).
No matter where Oregon, Washington or the other Pac-12 schools land, there’s no question the college football landscape has been forever changed.