Big 12 football: Ranking the 6 PAC-12 candidates for expansion

Dan Lanning, Pac-12, Big 12 Football
Dan Lanning, Pac-12, Big 12 Football /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

6. Arizona

Since the Arizona schools would essentially come as a package deal for the Big 12 in the expansion conversation, it makes sense to keep them together on this list. I also don’t believe that there is much of a gap in terms of the attractiveness between the two Arizona schools.

The Arizona Wildcats do get the bottom spot on this list thanks to the poor state of the football program. Sustainable success was a hard ask in the last few decades for the Arizona football program.

Meanwhile, the upside to getting Arizona into the Big 12 would be adding the valuable Phoenix-area TV market and the recruiting grounds in that state. The Wildcats would also bring a nationally established brand to the table in basketball and a competitive baseball program.

5. Arizona State

The Arizona State Sun Devils at least look to be a little bit more appealing to add to the Big 12 at the moment than Arizona. I’ll reiterate, though, that it doesn’t make much sense for the Big 12 to add just one of the Arizona schools and not the other.

What Arizona State would deliver to the Big 12 in terms of the TV market and recruiting pipeline is much of the same as what Arizona brings to the table. Where Arizona State sets itself apart is with a more sustainable football program in terms of the recent success we’ve seen from them.

Arizona State does also have a competitive men’s basketball program along with a historically prominent baseball program. While the Arizona State baseball program hasn’t found the same success in the last couple of decades, the Sun Devils do have the fourth-most national championships (five) of any school in the country.