Tomorrow (7/1) marks the day the University of Colorado and the University of Utah join the PAC-12. For CU, the move is from one BCS Conference to another – no big deal. For Utah the move is from a non-BCS to a BCS conference – this is a big deal. Being part of the PAC-12 is historic in another sense. The league is the second oldest in the country with only the Ivy League having a longer history.
Reportedly there is a network deal with ESPN and Fox worth about $3 billion to the PAC-12 (Daily Camera). As a result the move could be worth an additional $20 million each year to CU. While this is not a firm number, neither it or other preliminary estimates are chump change. Unfortunately, CU and Utah will need substantially more to be competitive in the new league.
Being in the PAC-12 presents a number of new marketing opportunities for the newcomers, particularly given CU’s large alumni base on the West Coast. And on the academic side, Buff leaders are quick to make the claims that the PAC-12 conference in more in line with the CU academic mission.
At the moment the conference is thriving under the aggressive leadership of Larry Scott. CU and Utah will definitely benefit from his actions.It was necessary for both schools to make the jump, given the race by other programs to construct a series of super conferences. If either school failed to take advantage of this opportunity they would have ended up in a weak conference.
Not only did the Buffs and Utes find a home; they now reside in one of the country’s elite athletic conferences. HOWEVER; being tabbed as an elite programs presents the newcomers with a series of new challenges- how are they going to survive in the race to raise or generate the most money, build the best facilities, hire the top coaches, and recruit premier athletes.
The bottom line is that CU and Utah were invited into the PAC-12 to generate money and develop winning teams. It is that simple. Let the games begin!
For further information on the PAC-12, click here, or go to http://www.pac-12.org/.