USC football's Pac-12 opponents are reportedly not expected to split

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas (9) scores on a 2-yard
Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas (9) scores on a 2-yard / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC football's move to the Big Ten was expected to shake things up, and it still likely will. Not a ton of that movement has been happening as of late, however, as these other bigger conferences clearly don't see these other Pac-12 programs desirable enough to add.

Now, the recent update comes from Alex Markham of UteNation, the Rivals' Utah Utes publication. He says that sources have told him that the "remaining Pac-12 schools are expected to announce sticking together."

Their choices are limited. The Big Ten is reportedly not interested in letting in other Pac-12 programs, at least for now. The Big 12 already expanded last offseason when their two biggest brands left (Texas and Oklahoma).

The SEC already expanded last offseason, and the ACC makes even less sense geographically than SC and UCLA going to the Big Ten. It looks like their best bet very well may be staying in the Pac together. The tough part is just that the chances of the Pac-12 remaining a Power Five conference through all this are not 100%.

USC football's move to the Big Ten still may end up decimating the Pac-12.

Markham's report also highlighted the fact that this news could potentially just buy certain Pac-12 programs the time to figure out what they want to do, and that USC football's move still could end up blowing up the conference:

"Even with this news, a bigger move is likely still in the works," said Markham. "This buys teams like Oregon, Washington, Stanford, and Utah time to bet on themselves and make their brand more attractive as the consolidation of conferences is still in its relative infancy."

After all, that is pretty believable. One move for these other programs that would most certainly help out would be to of course focus on strengthening their brands/programs as a whole. Then, their chances of surviving all this realignment would be much higher.

Especially since some of these programs are in a tough spot with their geographical locations being away from the other major conferences. The likelihood of a Pac-12 without the L.A. schools surviving at the same level appears slim, but perhaps the Pac could survive in the short term.

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That's at least what the plan is for right now. George Kliavkoff most certainly would like to see it play out together long-term as well, but many college football fans are going to need to see it until they believe it when it comes to the long-term prospects of the Pac remaining a Power 5 conference.

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