Wilner Unsure Where Utes Will Land As Realignment Talk Continues
SALT LAKE CITY – After breaking the news earlier this summer that USC and UCLA were leaving the Pac-12, noted college football expert Jon Wilner isn’t sure what’s next for conference realignment.
Wilner joined the Hans & Scotty Show on The Zone Sports Network on Wednesday, August 3.
“The circle of people who actually know what’s going on in realignment is very, very small. It’s not just about the head coach, or the athletic director. But also the university president and the trustees and the regions and the media partners. So there’s just very few people who actually know what’s going on,” Wilner said of the difficulty in simply getting accurate information regarding conference realignment.
— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) August 3, 2022
With the final landing spot for the University of Utah up in the air, Olsen asked what his sense is of Utah’s willingness to explore Big 12 or Big Ten conference possibilities.
Wilner and Utes former Athletics Director Chris Hill expect Utah will take a number of factors into consideration.
“It sounds to me, like his (Hill) view is that Utah looks west more than it does look east. For a whole number of fronts, academic alignment, geographic alignment, recruiting alumni base.”
Wilner cautions fans to keep an eye on the upcoming Pac-12 media deal as an indicator of their plans.
“I don’t think anything is imminent. They’re gonna sign a media deal at some point. Or they’re going to not sign a media deal. And if they don’t sign a media deal, that’s going to tell you that there’s probably going to be schools leave it. So this is definitely not over. One way or the other.”
No matter how the circumstances shape up, Wilner believes any move for the University of Utah would have to be a slam dunk for the Utes to pull the trigger.
.@Utah_Football was picked to repeat as @pac12 champions but that wasn't the topic at Media Day on Friday. It was all about conference realignment.#GoUtes #Pac12MediaDay @JJSportsBeat pic.twitter.com/TrNP4dF8xl
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) July 30, 2022
“Is it worth it for an extra 4 million a year, during the year to do everything we got to do to play in the Big 12? Send our teams to Orlando and Morgantown, West Virginia, become academically aligned with the big 12 schools, right? Plus all the extra travel costs that would come with it.”
“I think it’s got to be an absolute no brainer. And I am not convinced that that’s the case at all.”