LOS ANGELES — Conference realignment and media rights were hot topics during Pac-12 Football Media Day in Los Angeles Friday.
Entering one of the last few years of the Pac-12 Conference with its current number of members before marquee programs, USC and UCLA, heading to the BIG10 beginning in 2024.
In his second year as commissioner George Kliavkoff addressed the recent news of possible expansion saying the conference is actively exploring options.
He wouldn’t specify which schools he’s looking to add, only the criteria he’s looking for.
“As we consider these opportunities, we will look at media value, athletic strength, academic and cultural fit, and geography from a recruiting and student-athlete experience standpoint,” Kliavkoff said. “As you would expect, we've had significant inbound interest and are in the process of evaluating opportunities.”
Arizona State and Arizona enter the upcoming fall predicted to finish 10th and 11th, respectively, in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
The Sun Devils, with 43 new players on their roster, have yet to name a starting quarterback.
“I know one thing: if you don’t have a quarterback, the field is 150 yards long,” head coach Herm Edwards said. “So, we want the quarterback to be successful, for sure. Whoever that may be.”
Even after a 1-11 campaign last season, second-year head coach Jedd Fisch is optimistic about what’s to come this year in Tucson.
He’s not letting the past define what his program could be and expressed excitement about the state of recruiting and NIL opportunities for the Wildcats.
“We have a lot of new faces and we have a lot of old faces that have really committed to getting better. So the part of me that I’m most excited about is getting better,” Fisch said. “We have a lot of new starters on offense our quarterback will be a new starter, coming from Washington State. He was the Pac-12 Player of the Year as a freshman… I think we’re all excited about what a Jayden de Laura can do for your program.”
The Sun Devils open their season at home on Thursday, September 1, against Northern Arizona. The Wildcats open their season at San Diego State on Saturday, September 3.
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The city of Phoenix is home to five major professional sports league teams; The NFL's Arizona Cardinals, NBA's Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, MLB's Arizona Diamondbacks and NHL's Arizona Coyotes.
The Cardinals have made the State Farm Stadium in Glendale their home turf and the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix is home to both the Suns and the Mercury. The Indoor Football League’s Arizona Rattlers also play at the Footprint. Phoenix has a soccer team with the USL's Phoenix Rising FC.
The Valley hosts multiple major sporting events on a yearly basis, including college football's Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl; the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event, the Waste Management Phoenix Open; NASCAR events each spring and fall; and Cactus League Spring Training.