Every year at this time we wait to see what the Big XII is planning as far as conference expansion. This year all indications point to the Big XII ready to make the move and add teams to the conference. So what does means for the the chances of Fresno State to make the leap to a power five conference. Well it’s not looking good. Every scenario I’ve seen out there doesn’t include the Bulldogs.
However, it doesn’t mean it’s completely out of the realm of possibility. Instead of thinking Big XII, think PAC 12 instead. Here’s the reason why. I’ve heard many scenarios, but one intrigues me. Some have the Big XII increasing its conference by 4, and some say that 2 of those would be from a power five conference and 2 from a group of five. As far as the group of five, two names seem to keep popping up. BYU and Colorado State due to proximity and tv markets. However the 2 power five Universities that I’ve seen multiple times comes out of the Pac 12. Arizona and Arizona State are the names that keep surfacing. Which for the Big XII would make sense should they be able to pull it off.
This is where things get interesting for the PAC 12. After losing the Arizona’s the Pac 12 would have to fill a void. With Colorado State gone from the Mountain West and BYU off the table the PAC 12 would probably turn to the Mountain West. The most likely candidates would be, Boise State, San Diego State, Fresno State, and Utah State. Although Boise State may look attractive due to their success on the field, their tv market and traveling fan base would hurt them. Utah State would be considered as a good travel partner to Utah which is why they’re in the mix. The two most logical choices would be instate rivals San Diego State and Fresno State. Both are in a small travel area from the most of the other Pac 12 Universities and both have a passionate fan base that travels especially within the state of CA.
Although San Diego State plays in an aging Qualcomm stadium it still holds a capacity of 70,000 which could be a good source of revenue when other PAC 12 teams come to town. Bulldog Stadium at Fresno State is about 40,000 and is in the process of being upgraded. What Fresno State lacks in stadium size they more than make up for it in a passionate fan base that would travel in huge numbers especially in the state of CA.
But again this is all hypothetical. Although San Diego State and Fresno State would be the most logical choices for the PAC 12 should the Big XII make those exact moves, we all know that the world of College football is anything but logical. I mean, they are trying to remove kickoffs from the game of football, but that's a story for another day.
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