To start off this list, we’re going to take a look at a potential package deal that would be smart for the Big 12 to go for in this round of conference realignment. This move would hypothetically see the Big 12 try to get the Arizona schools from the PAC-12, which would make a lot of sense for all parties involved (excluding the PAC-12 obviously).
Let’s first take a look at what the Big 12 could be getting out of the Arizona Wildcats.
Arizona is not the strongest football program at the moment, but a change of scenery in terms of this round of conference realignment could do them well. Second-year head coach Jedd Fisch does have some of the pieces in place, though, to elevate this Arizona football program out of the basement of the PAC-12 in the next few seasons.
Fisch is recruiting a lot better among high school prospects and key players out of the NCAA Transfer Portal than former head coach Kevin Sumlin did during his time in Tucson. But there’s still a long way to go for this football program to be truly competitive again in a Power Five setting.
Yet, there are other appealing aspects of the Big 12 adding Arizona to the mix. Arizona is one of the more prestigious basketball programs in the entire country, which bolsters the Big 12 in a sport that could be a calling card for the conference in the future.
Adding Arizona would also help the Big 12 gain a valuable TV market around Phoenix and Tucson along with a key recruiting ground for football and basketball.
It’s also worth mentioning that Arizona is one of the better baseball programs of late in the PAC-12. Baseball is also a sport that the Big 12 has made major strides in of late. And adding Arizona would help to minimize the impact of what the Big 12 would be losing in baseball with Texas and Oklahoma headed for the SEC.
There are some areas of improvement for Arizona, but this could be a really appealing expansion candidate out of the PAC-12, especially if Fisch gets the football program headed in the right direction in the near future.