Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff Discusses Realignment, Football Structure

Jul 27, 2021, 1:25 PM
George Kliavkoff - Pac-12 Media Day...
(Photo courtesy of John McGillen, Pac-12)
(Photo courtesy of John McGillen, Pac-12)

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff discussed a variety of things at Football Media Day, including the structure and realignment reports.

The morning of Pac-12 Football Media Day began with opening remarks from George Kliavkoff before the 12 head coaches and 24 student-athletes spoke to media in attendance.

One of the critical topics that Kliavkoff addressed was the realignment rumors after Oklahoma and Texas submitted their intention to leave the Big 12 and join the SEC.

“I’d like to quickly address some of the significant recent developments related to college athletics,” Kliavkoff said. “If the media reports turn out to be true, we believe the move by Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 to the SEC strengthens our unique position as the only Power 5 conference with teams in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

“We have a stable, highly successful, and well positioned membership with a high bar to entry,” Kliavkoff added. “Given our investments in football and men’s basketball, our historic domination of other sports, we do not think expansion is required to continue to compete and thrive. That said, the fallout from Texas and Oklahoma gives us an opportunity to once again consider expansion. We had already had significant inbound interest from many schools. We will work with our presidents and chancellors
to evaluate these opportunities. We expect these decisions to take some time and we will
not be sharing any further information today about ongoing expansion discussions.”

Another important topic mentioned by Kliavkoff was a football working group that will meet regularly to discuss how the sport in the Pac-12 can improve. This includes the amount of conference games and non-conference scheduling.

“Today we are announcing the formation of a football strategic working group led by Merton (Hanks),” Kliavkoff stated. “The football group will include our football head coaches and our ADs. The mandate for this group is simple: recommend changes to our football program with the goal of optimizing for CFP invitations and winning championships. Consistent with my meeting with our ADs in Las Vegas, I can confirm that every decision the conference makes related to football is on the table for discussion.

“We will look at our conference schedules, including the number of conference games that we play, and the start time of each game,” Kliavkoff added. “We will look at our non-conference scheduling. We will evaluate whether having divisions does or does not make sense. We will work collectively to keep our very best recruits in our markets and to market our league to recruits everywhere. The football working group will begin meeting immediately and provide regular updates and recommendations to me and our board.”

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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