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Big 12 Conference Takes Shot At Pac-12 On Social Media

Aug 3, 2022, 6:07 PM
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The Big 12 Conference wasn't shy about pulling out attendance numbers against the Pac-12. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Big 12 Conference versus Pac-12 drama is getting juicy.

Just one week after Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said the Big 12 had thrown grenades at his league. The Big 12 calmly took to Twitter on Wednesday to launch another shot at the conference of champions.

While the Big Ten and SEC continue to strengthen their leagues, the rest of the power conference landscape is in a race to establish themselves as the third-best league. The possibility of the Big 12 poaching members from the Pac-12 has been thrown around, but Kliavkoff confidently said no one from the PAC would join the Big 12.

Jon Wilner, who covers the Pac-12 extensively for the Bay Area News, tweeted a stat about average game attendance for the 2019 season on Wednesday.

Wilner’s stat had the Pac-12 schools minus USC and UCLA averaging 44,704 fans per game in 2019. For the Big 12 minus Texas and Oklahoma, attendance was at 49,378.

The “Pope of the Pac-12” concluded his tweet with a remark that read, “Not a significant difference. Plenty of empty seats in both leagues.”

Big 12 Conference sends tweet comparing attendance with the Pac-12

Hours later, the Big 12 fired up its Twitter account to send a response with a graphic highlighting the percent of capacity in the stadiums.

In simple terms, percent of capacity is how much of a stadium is filled for a given game at a school. Between the two conferences, Utah had the best percent of capacity mark at 101.43%. Utah averaged 46,462 fans in 2019, which far exceeds the 45,807 capacity Rice-Eccles used to hold before the 2021 expansion.

But the Big 12’s number one school, Baylor, was close behind at 100.84%.

The top four between each conference were similar. But outside the top four is likely where the Big 12 was trying to prove that they have more rabid fans than the PAC.

The fifth best percent of capacity team in the PAC was Washington State, with 87.18% of its stadium full in 2019. TCU, fifth in the Big 12, was at 93.22%.

If the Big 12 added BYU to the graphic, the Cougars would be above TCU. BYU’s attendance in 2019 was 59,547 fans per game at LaVell Edwards Stadium. That would be good for a percent of capacity at 93.8%.

BYU joins the Big 12 on July 1, 2023, along with current AAC members UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston. The Pac-12 Conference has been authorized to explore expansion opportunities but has not added any new members since losing USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.

Brett Yormark stepped into Big 12 office officially this week

This graphic comes just two days after the official start date of Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark. Yormark stepped into the Irving, Texas offices this week and was called a “marketing wizard” by Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren.

Along with famously saying the Big 12 was “open for business” at Media Days last month. Yormark has stated that he wants the Big 12 to appeal to a younger and hipper audience. There’s nothing that says you’re younger and hipper in 2022 than a good Twitter beef.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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