Why ASU should position itself to ditch the Pac-12 for the Big-12

Big 12 Football Championship - Baylor v Oklahoma

Big 12 Football Championship - Baylor v Oklahoma

Catastrophes are wakeup calls. They show you who people really are. In a pandemic, we're seeing the true values of people, companies and leagues.

The Pac-12 is showing us they care way less about football than the other four power conferences, as if that wasn't obvious enough pre-coronavirus.

The SEC will play, even if it means they have to secede from college football. It's in their blood, after-all. Most of their member schools have already pledged to house students on campus come Fall. Make no mistake, football plays a role in that decision.

The Big-12 doesn't even care if there are students on campus or not, they're set on playing.

A little adversity won't stop them up in Big 10 country.

There's no way Clemson lets the ACC fall by the wayside. Not with Dabo Swinney's motivational skills.

Where's the Pac-12? Behind, as usual, just like they're behind on playoff berths and TV contracts as of late. Commissioner Larry Scott's latest sentiment is that “there’s a spirit of cooperation when it comes to college football in particular, a strong bias toward making sure we do this together." Except, most conferences are taking the opposite approach, even it means ditching the NCAA's structure for a year.

It would appear Scott is taking his cues from his home state of California, which has partnered with Oregon and Washington in the "Western States Pact." Those states, which house eight of the Pac-12's schools, have agreed to mirror each other's protocols and timeline. Predictably, they're all choosing caution over aggression.

To each their own, right? Not really. Not when your state's sensibilities are opposite, and you'll never have the clout to have a say in these situations anyway. That's Arizona State University. Governor Doug Ducey's been gung-ho about opening back up, but without the consent of our big brother states, it won't matter. Forget about Jayden Daniels's growth, forget about the offensive line additions, forget about the five 5-star recruits Herm Edwards just nabbed out of California. What the Western States Pact says goes!

Unless, you just leave.

SEC Network host Peter Burns said today that the Big-12 may be looking to recruit Pac-12 teams. Opportunity knocks.

"If I'm the Big-12 I'd be the aggressor....I'm just gonna go over there, and I'm gonna cherry pick the teams that I want," Burns said on an appearance with ESPN's Golic and Wingo.

If we're honest, ASU's probably not at the top of the Big-12's wish-list. Worse, many predict that a Big-12/Pac-12 merger is inevitable, and the "undesirables" will be left to fend for themselves. But ASU can avoid that if they're proactive, not reactive.

Ditch the Pac-12, endure a few years of financial pain, squeeze into the Big-12 before it's too late.

The Big-12 will pay each of its member schools around $40 million this year for media rights. The SEC will dole out $45 million. The Big-10 will distribute $55 million. The Pac-12 will circulate a measly $33 million for school.

The four other conferences also earn significantly more exposure than the Pac-12, which is mostly hidden behind paywalls and subscriptions. The Pac-12 network is only found in about 18 million homes in the US. Yet, Larry Scott's big idea for the conference's next media rights deal is to negotiate with Apple, so that it can be used as a guinea pig for live sports on Apple TV. Less exposure.

Doesn't ASU want to get away from pretentious? The party school has never quite felt as highbrow as Stanford, UCLA or Cal anyway.

Doesn't ASU want more money? As Herm Edwards approaches 70, those well-paid assistant coaches get more crucial by the year.

Doesn't ASU want to play where it matters? If they get out now, they just might be able to.

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