With the world of college athletics changing before our very own eyes, Arizona Athletics needs to be proactive and make the transition to the Big 12.
USC and UCLA are officially leaving the Pac-12 Conference starting in 2024-25, so now what? Well, for Arizona Athletics, that just means that they will have to navigate through the increasingly crazy and challenging world of college athletics.
So far, Arizona has taken a rather passive approach in conference realignment as schools like Oklahoma and Texas have bolted for the SEC, meanwhile, BYU, Houston, Central Florida, and Cincinnati are set to join the Big 12 in 2023-24.
Well, with UCLA and USC being the latest schools to join super conferences, Arizona may now have its hand forced and they need to act fast.
Luckily, Arizona Athletics will have a few options; however, to me the solution is simple, it is time to join the Big 12, and soon.
Let’s be honest, the Pac-12 is slowly dying and with flagship programs like USC and UCLA now leaving, any potential media deal at this point has likely been kiboshed with the Los Angeles market no longer in play.
Arizona virtually has two options at this point, either stay put and let things play out, hoping for the Pac-12 to bring in other programs to the conference, or make the switch to another conference (the Big 12 being the most likely).
To me, it is simple, Arizona NEEDS to join the Big 12. It is likely the Big 10 may try to add more members to its super conference, which means the Pac-12 could get poached even further, so the time to act is more pressing than ever.
And before you ask yourself if Arizona could be one of those teams, unfortunately, I just can’t see Arizona (being partnered with ASU) as a particularly great candidate to join the conference. The Wildcats simply don’t have the football prowess to be a reasonable choice here.
So that leaves the Big 12. Logistically, it would be a less than ideal traveling Orlando, West Virginia, or Cincinnati for a conference game; however, it is the world the Wildcats are presently faced with, and to me, it is a better option than sticking around and potentially adding UNLV, Nevada, and the New Mexico schools.
On the flip side of that, basketball would benefit greatly with yearly matchups against Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Houston, TCU, and BYU.
Now granted, this is all pending with the Arizona Board of Regents will allow Arizona to do, but the time to act is now, otherwise, the Wildcats could soon be left in the dust.