On Pac-12 Media Day, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff dropped a bomb on what's been happening with the USC Trojans' remaining Pac-12 (or Pac-10) foes on the realignment trail. He asserted what he sees as dominance over the Big 12 in this tough time for the Pac-12, the Big 12, and the ACC.
"With respect to the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that," said Kliavkoff. "We haven't decided if we're going shopping there or not yet."
According to Kliavkoff, the Pac-12 clearly is the one with leverage over the Big 12, and gets to choose if they're "going shopping there or not." Kliavkoff clearly believes that the Pac doesn't need the Big 12, and that the Big 12 only needs the Pac.
George Kliavkoff clarified his aggressive comments later in Pac-12 Media Day.
With the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins leaving for the Big Ten, George Kliavkoff still refuses to back down. He expanded on what he meant in his comments earlier in the event.
"That remark was a reflection of the fact I've been spending four weeks trying to defend against grenades that have been lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference. I understand why they're doing it, when you look the relative media value between the two conferences. I get it, I get why they're scared, why they're trying to destabilize it."- George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 Commissioner
Wow. So, apparently the Pac-12 and Big 12 are not on good terms. This was not mentioned at Big 12 Media Day, so Kliavkoff made sure to let his thoughts be known at his opportunity. Perhaps he really does have this type of leverage.
It's just surprising because ESPN's Pete Thamel had reported a different story not too long ago. It was reported that after the Big Ten didn't accept any more Pac-12 teams after USC and UCLA, that the Pac-12 not only wanted to stick together but also partner with the Big 12.
The report from Thamel said that the Big 12 reviewed the options that the Pac gave them, and they wouldn't bring enough new revenue to the Big 12 for the conference to be interested in partnering with the Pac-12. Therefore, for Kliavkoff to seemingly know a different story sent waves throughout college football on Friday.
More will surely be to come of this realignment in these next couple of years, unless the Pac magically has some trick up their sleeve that will keep the 10 teams together in a Pac-10. While it would be difficult, Kliavkoff's confidence suggests that he believes that the Pac isn't the conference that's in the toughest spot to survive this.