The Big 12 has a new deal with ESPN after FOX decided to let their deal expire. This new ESPN deal will pay each Big 12 school 22 million dollars each season. They will also feature eight of the 10 conference teams being shown on ESPN+ throughout the season.
The money will be a huge boost to the smaller schools like West Virginia and Iowa State as well as great exposure for recruits by getting put in front of more televisions. But all of this is another dagger in the heart of the PAC-12.
The PAC-12 decided to roll out their own television network a few years ago and it has not been great. It has been reported that each PAC-12 school received just North of 2.5 million dollars in 2018 per school. Clearly that is way below the Big 12 and most every other conference which shows how poorly the network is performing. This only piles on to the fact that the conference has been dipping in recent years. Washington has been a bright spot but USC is in a tail spin and Stanford has been up and down.
The Big 12 has been on the rise and has more teams as interesting as ever. Oklahoma is cemented in the top five, Texas is close to back, Iowa State is a scrappy team good for a major win every year and the rest of the conference is full of fun teams. The PAC-12 has the heavy hitters in a slump and the bottom of the conference is bad, real bad. The West Coast also doesn’t have as much passion like Middle America when it comes to college football.
Not long ago, the Big 12 was an after thought and the PAC-12 was a conference that demanded respect. Things change in the college football landscape and teams come and go. But the PAC-12 has to get something figured out in a hurry. If they keep losing ground and the TV markets, they will lose recruits. Poor products means even less fans and you can see where this is headed. Chip Kelly and Clay Helton need to get things going to make up for the lack of leadership at the PAC-12 Network.