Has San Diego State’s Final Four run secured its move to the Pac-12? | College Basketball Enquirer
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss San Diego State’s run to the 2023 Final Four, and debate how it may have affected the Aztecs’ future conference alignment.
PAT FORDE: I think this is it for San Diego State. I think this is what pushes them-- the proverbial we're on the 1-yard line. I think they're in the end zone now.
DAN WETZEL: I want to ask this. San Diego State is in the Final Four, and they had been linked as the most likely candidate to jump to the Pac-12 if the Pac-12 wanted to expand. They have a good football program. They've had a very good basketball program. Now they've made this breakthrough.
It's San Diego, big city, big market. I don't think San Diego State dominates the market like maybe Ohio State in Columbus or anything. But it's Southern California. The weather's great. Hey, it's good, right? So very attractive deal. Could also be attractive to the Big 12. Does the Final Four push them over the top?
PAT FORDE: First of all, I mean, I think they were probably going to go anyway. But I think this is your proverbial icing on the cake. The closing of the deal is-- I think the Pac-12 is looking around saying, who can win national championships for us? Well, San Diego State basketball is in the running. Got a good chance. They're favored, I believe, to be playing on Monday night in the championship game.
They beat number 1 Alabama. They beat Creighton of the Big East. They're in the mix. And they have been really good for 20 years almost in basketball. So this is that next step. I think this really, really helps them just as far as, if you're the school leadership, you're no longer sitting there talking in theoretical terms of, yeah, we could get there. We could get there.
Now you're like, we are there. Look, we're playing in the Final Four, man. So Yeah, I think it should be close to a slam dunk for the Pac-12. I'm sure-- you know what, going to Dan's example from the last podcast, if you're San Diego, you lie and say the Big 12 is after us, too, so that we can get a better deal out of this. And maybe the Big 12 is after them.
I think this is it for San Diego State. I think this is what pushes them-- the proverbial we're on the 1-yard line. I think they're in the end zone now.
ROSS DELLENGER: I kind of agree with Pat in that I don't know that they needed it. But certainly, it's not hurting. But I don't know that they really needed it. I felt like-- it felt like that the Pac-12 was going to go there no matter what. But you would think now, with the publicity they're getting in all of this-- and not only this, right? They've shown success in football, too, for the last several years, as Dan said.
They have a brand-new stadium. I actually went out there and visited it back in July. It's incredible. It's beautiful. Pac-12 presidents have said this publicly, but the TV deal will be a big part of do they expand and how many they expand. So we'll hopefully know in the next two to three weeks about that.
DAN WETZEL: You know, they have 35,000 students. Lots of alums. I don't know how many alums. One thing is just sort of awakening that school pride.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Maybe that helps bring some people to football next year and builds it up. But this, to me, as much as it doesn't matter, it just feels like that spark that's like, someone's got to grab these guys. And if we don't do it first-- it will not necessarily bring more media rights money. But it's just like it's good to be in California.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, Southern California. Yeah, you would think they would need--
DAN WETZEL: Just a good place to be.
ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, need a team in Southern California. They need their teams to--
DAN WETZEL: Pac-12 needs somebody there.
ROSS DELLENGER: --play down there in Southern California.
PAT FORDE: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Because everybody's still going to want to recruit Southern California.