Morning Buzz: Would USC Really Leave The Pac-12?

USC athletic director Mike Bohn said this week, “all options are the table” when asked if the Trojans would consider leaving the Pac-12 in an interview with the USC 247Sports site.

I view this as a way to gain leverage more than any serious consideration to leave the Pac-12, despite the incompetence of Larry Scott and lagging TV deals.

This will be hard for some fans to believe, but the USC administration actually cares about the academic reputation of the schools in its conference. It’s one reason USC and other Pac-12 schools opposed the idea of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State moving into the Pac-12 a few years ago. They didn’t bring the academic gravitas the Pac-12 believes it has with Stanford, the UC schools, USC, Washington and even Arizona, which has a medical school.

Let’s say USC goes independent for football, where do all the other sports go? The Mountain West? The West Coast? The WAC? All our less prestigious and bring in less money than the Pac-12.

You think USC will go to the Big 12?

I can’t imagine Carol Folt thinks its a good idea for basketball and volleyball players to travel all the way to West Virginia and Iowa State for conference games.

But let’s pretend USC would go independent in football. Just how attractive are the Trojans to a major broadcast network? USC is not Notre Dame nationally, especially after the past few years of underachievement. USC might have been able to do something in the 1970’s when its brand was a lot higher but the Trojans are not even a marquee program right now.

And who would USC play? The Pac-12 schools would have to have short memories to continue to play the Trojans.

Also remember, Folt would make the decision about leaving the Pac-12, not Bohn. They didn’t exactly handle the retention of Clay Helton too well and you think they want to handle leaving the Pac-12?

If you want to see a power move, USC president John Hubbard was so mad about resistance from Stanford and Washington to accept Arizona and Arizona State as new members of the conference, he threatened to immediately leave the Pac-8 in 1976. The threat worked because Stanford/Washington reversed course and decided to accept the Arizona schools.

Was Hubbard bluffing? Probably. But he got what he wanted.

USC might need to make veiled threats today but probably just to get a bigger piece of the TV revenue.

19 thoughts on “Morning Buzz: Would USC Really Leave The Pac-12?

  1. They should go joint the big12 with ucla to make it a 12 team members…in all sports…the pac12 is the worse conferences in the powers 5…or go independent and start the Trojan own network…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. USC would instantly become attractive to a major broadcast network if they replaced Bozo Helton with a big name coach. Because most people know the national allure is still there, so if going independent is handled correctly, then SC would benefit in a big way .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. A university that keeps Helton & Enfield is not making plans to go independent.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ll be laughing outta the other side of your mouth when Harrell leaves at halftime to join Saban on the Alabama sideline…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Take him. I would be ecstatic if he left. If mediocre is what you strive for them follow up him where he goes. This air raid offense is BS. Football is about Ws and not stats.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, this post was kinda ridiculous Scott, very lazy and ill informed– and he of all people should be pushing for this, since it is what he and everyone has asked for, a serious look at revamping and changing what is an untenable situation in terms of what the PAC 12 is right now. Scott should be fanning flames instead of drying to pour water on them, right? So should all SC folks.

    USC Alone Myth and Reality

    Scott knows that’s not the real scenario. USC has the California schools in tow as long as they want to. And those 4 schools are a huge get, collectively they are colleges best and most winning academic/athletic brands/markets in a package in the nation. Anyone picks them up, they can bring anyone with them. The big Texas schools, are the natural move. It’s just too perfect –the 4 California schools, 3 Texas Big 12 schools, 2 Oklahoma schools, 2 Arizona schools, and Colorado. The PAC 12 is the oldest stable conferences, but even it has added two schools that it has no history with and it tried to add 6 schools it had no history with. We lost big on the last expansion round, and the situation is unsustainable. Hate to see the northwest schools have to figure out the best of a bad situation, but they’ve never been supportive of anyone but themselves.

    Academic Myth and Reality

    In the PAC 12– after the California schools that are top 25 schools, then a really immense drop.

    Texas and Texas Tech had is happened would have brought a ~#50 and ~#70 academic school, which would have made them the best schools in the PAC 12 not in California. (Wait, UW is up to like #60 these days so…)

    When you get to the 3rd and 4th tier it just doesn’t mean much unless you simply are not ranked at all. As it is, Utah and Colorado are both #120 and #105 roughly. Oklahoma and Okie St. are like ~#130 ~#190 Okie State which as 3rd and 4th tier schools really are no difference. All these schools have medical schools so I have medical schools, dunno why Scott brought that up.

    Under the example scenario I stated, the PAC 12 then becomes the academic peer of the ACC and Big 10 again if it keeps Colorado and adds Texas, Baylor (~#80) to round out the relatively lowly ranked Oklahoma and Arizona schools.

    At any rate I’m excited to hear the possibility that a change is gonna come.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great post, Global — but to be fair to Scott, I think his governing premise was the idea of USC going Independent in football at the present moment (the “present moment” being a euphemism for “Helton”) would be, um, difficult.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I added even more typos than usual to make it interesting. lol

        But nah, USC, UCLA, Stanford and Cal are brands with things that are beyond the win-loss column now. Among them, the schools with most legit Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Olympic sports championships; and two top 5 or top 10 media markets, depending on how you rank it. And all the schools have national cache. The places also are basically geared to win– they have more talent at their disposal with less backyard competition for it than anyplace. Academically, (which is important to college presidents) there a no four schools in DI Athletics that you would want to be associated with for academic prestige by far….

        Shop that around without the rest of the PAC 8 baggage to a new home and you can call your shots in terms of new league, and new contract. I lined up the most likely and lucrative: the 4 Cal schools with Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Okie State, ASU, AZ St., Colorado for a 12 member league. Adding the leftover PAC teams plus BYU could one-up the 16 member ACC with an 18 member PAC-West. It would actually outstrip the ACC and the Big 12 in media markets, and totally bury the SEC. Nationally, a league with USC, Texas and Oklahoma would be the class of football.


  4. Just put Helton in charge of negotiations. He seems to be able to convince people of the craziest things, like he can coach and the program has a bright future with him in charge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stay in the PAC-12. Get the football team back on the right track! Clean up the issues that have tarnished USC.

    Also, I suggest getting rid of the PAC-12 Network and make a great deal with one of the networks. Furthermore, stop playing night games and play in the afternoon. No more Friday games!


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