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The Pac-12 and Big 12 are meeting today to discuss merger, scheduling alliance

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Could a merge save two conferences at the same time?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 31 Iowa State at Kansas Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Max Olson of The Athletic dropped some big news on Tuesday morning.

This would be a huge (and great, imo) move for the Big 12 if Bob Bowlsby could somehow get the remaining eight teams to merge with the Pac-12 to form a 20-team super conference.

Ultimately, a merger makes more sense than a scheduling alliance for the Big 12. The conference - severely weakened by the departure of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC in 2025 - isn’t in a great position as far as eyeballs are concerned. A scheduling alliance with the Pac-12 would certainly be a financial boon, but a full merger could garner a pretty hefty TV contract.

Last week Pac-12 Commissioner George Kilakoff said that his conference would prioritize opportunities to expand, and it looks like he’s making good on that statement.

Nothing is even remotely a lock to happen, but it has to be encouraging for fans of Big 12 schools that the commissioners are openly talking. That being said, let’s fast forward to what a Big 12/Pac-12 merger could look like.

20 teams would be much more difficult to navigate than the 16 teams the SEC is expanding to, from a “making sure you play your whole conference” standpoint. But, it’s not impossible. Here’s what a potential Big 12/Pac-12 merger could look like.

Two 10-team divisions

Big 12/Pac-12 Merger | 2 Divisions

West Division East Division
West Division East Division
USC TCU
UCLA Texas Tech
Cal Baylor
Stanford Oklahoma State
Oregon Kansas
Oregon State Kansas State
Washington Iowa State
Washington State West Virginia
Arizona Colorado
Arizona State Utah

The pros of two divisions are limited - teams would rarely get to play teams in the other division in a 12-game season, unless the conference did away with non-conference games altogether.

Four 5-team Pods

Big 12/Pac-12 Merger - 4 Pods

Pod 1 Pod 2 Pod 3 Pod 4
Pod 1 Pod 2 Pod 3 Pod 4
USC Washington TCU West Virginia
UCLA Washington State Texas Tech Kansas
Cal Oregon Baylor Kansas State
Colorado Oregon State Arizona Iowa State
Utah Stanford Arizona State Oklahoma State

The four-pod system seems to be the trend in this burgeoning superconference era, which helps from a scheduling standpoint. With 20 teams, that puts five teams in each pod. Teams would be able to play the four teams in their pod, and two teams from each other pod on a rotation, leaving two non-conference games per season.

Each pod ‘champion’ could be seeded into a conference semifinal round, with the winners playing in the conference championship.

Five 4-Team Pods

Big 12/Pac-12 Merger - 5 Pods

Pod 1 Pod 2 Pod 3 Pod 4 Pod 5
Pod 1 Pod 2 Pod 3 Pod 4 Pod 5
USC TCU Washington Stanford West Virginia
UCLA Texas Tech Washington State Cal Iowa State
Arizona Baylor Oregon Utah Kansas
Arizona State Oklahoma State Oregon State Colorado Kansas State

Of course, the alternative to five team pods is four team pods. Five, four-team pods would be tougher from a conference championship standpoint, but from a regular season standpoint would be good. Teams play each of the other three schools in their pod, and two from each of the other pods on a rotation, getting to 11 games and one non-conference game.

So, should the Big 12 and Pac-12 merge? Tell me why or why not below.

Poll

Should the Big 12 and Pac-12 Merge?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Yes
    (1014 votes)
  • 11%
    No
    (133 votes)
1147 votes total Vote Now