Pros and cons of what could be next for CU Buffs athletics – Greeley Tribune

For now, Colorado athlete Rick George remains steadfast in his faith in the solidarity of what is left of the Pac-12 conference.

George didn’t specifically add the caveat “for now” when he met local media representatives this week. But he didn’t have to. That part of the equation has been second nature since the Pac-12 was gutted more than two weeks ago by USC and UCLA’s sudden transfer to the Big Ten.

Everything can change on any given day. One phone call, a tempting offer of league rivals like Washington and/or Oregon, and the solidarity in which George has professed his belief — “The ADs agree on where we think this needs to go” — will disappear even faster than the Pac -12’s footprint in Los Angeles.

Amidst all this debate and speculation about the future of Colorado athletics and the Pac-12, what exactly fits the buffs best? The obvious answer that the likes of George are headed for is basically ‘whatever pays best’. As always, this will be under the (soccer) result.

Still, the speculation part is fun. Here are the CU-centric pros and cons among the more viable options on the table.

Stay in place

If, as George noted this week, the remaining 10 schools in the Pac-12 do weather this storm in a united front, it will wrap the Buffs in a security blanket. This week, Sports Illustrated published a “desirability rating list” that ranked all 69 Power 5 schools based on how desirable they would be in the hypothetical scenario of wiping the current conference schedules clean and starting over. CU checked in at #57.

Sorry Buffs fans, but nearly two full decades of mostly futile football have severely weakened CU’s national brand. The Pac-12 (10) remains the largest sports conference west of the central time zone. Hanging the future of the buffs on the coattails of Oregon and Washington could prevent CU from being overlooked and left behind.

On the other hand, Pac-12’s current troubles, among other business missteps, can be traced back to a football brand that was already struggling to keep up with the Big Ten and the SEC, even USC. It’s difficult to envision the Pac-12, even with additions through expansion, bridging this huge soccer gap as a standalone conference.

Big 12 merger

Immediately following USC and UCLA’s announcement, the “Four Corners” schools of CU, Utah, Arizona and Arizona State were rumored to be entertaining a Big 12 bid. That particular scenario has been debunked, but some sort of league-wide merger — whether it’s full consolidation or some sort of media and planning alliance — could still very much be at play.

CU obviously has a history with the Big 12, its home before the move to the Pac-12 a dozen years ago. Any sort of merger would allow both conferences to keep up with the thriving Big Ten and SEC superleagues. With Cincinnati, Brigham Young, Houston and Central Florida soon joining the Big 12, a merger would give the Pac-12/Big 12 a transnational presence even larger than the redesigned Big Ten.

While such a merger would allow CU to keep up in college football’s financial race, a Buffs football program that has struggled to consistently compete in a largely mediocre Pac-12 would find it even harder to compete in each Super conference to stand out from the crowd.

ACC Fusion

Maybe out of the box than other solutions, but merging the west coast with the east coast would allow the Pac-12 to keep up with the SEC and the Big Ten. The ACC also has larger TV markets than the Big 12, but like the Pac-12, its brand of football for every school not named Clemson has lagged in recent seasons. Traveling would be more challenging, but at least CU is better suited to regular East Coast cruising than most of its Pac-12 brethren. The unfortunate reality is that the Pac-12’s survival may require a coast-to-coast footprint, regardless of the timing demands placed on most non-football sports. Pros and cons of what could be next for CU Buffs athletics – Greeley Tribune

James Brien

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button