The Morning Stake | 2022.07.07

There are no slow news days.

Conference Realignment

So much changes in a day. I was out of pocket for most of the day so I’m not completely sure what’s happening, but it does appear that the Pac-12 and the ACC are attempting at salvaging something with ESPN. It appears that the biggest suitors are still ESPN and FOX.

SI’s Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde write about this Pac-12 and ACC alliance, noting that there is some traction with the idea of the Pac-12 staying intact for the time-being and may have the Big 12 outside looking in when it comes to adding additional programs. The one thing that I can say is that I think the Big 12 teams are on pretty even ground and think that as soon as some other conference wants Washington and Oregon, they’re gone. I think there will be more stability with the new Big 12. Of course, this also presumes that the Big Ten eventually wants Washington and Oregon an of course. This is an excellent read an sometimes I have a difficult time figuring out what portion to quote, but here’s a portion that I think is relevant:

The new partnership with the Pac-12 may not reopen the contract, but it will change the bottom line. That might be the best option for the ACC, because a complete renegotiation of the contract could open a path for the league’s most valuable properties—North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Virginia—to explore leaving. As it stands, escaping the ACC’s grant of rights deal could be both costly and complicated.

ESPN would gain a foothold on the West Coast, assuring it holds substantial rights for three of the five Power 5 leagues in the wake of Fox’s stranglehold on the Big Ten (the network is believed to have at least a 60% share of the Big Ten’s new TV deal). ESPN is expected to be prominently involved in the Pac-12’s negotiations for a new media rights deal, but the product was diminished by the loss of the Los Angeles market. This arrangement could be a way for ESPN to get more out of an agreement with the Pac-12.

Meanwhile, Kliavkoff is working to keep his 10 schools from being poached by a new colleague. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark, brand new to the job, has been aggressive in his pursuit of the remaining Pac-12 programs. The Big 12 is specifically targeting the remaining four from the Pac-12 South: Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. The nature of that pursuit is unclear, as is the level of interest from those schools in making a move. With sources indicating Oregon and Washington do not have a clear and imminent path to the Big Ten, those schools might prefer staying in the Pac-12—which could, in turn, improve the chances of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah staying in the league.

The Athletic has similar news and notes, but North Carolina could play a part from a national perspective:

It also distracts from the bigger questions at play on a national level.
What will Notre Dame do?

And, perhaps as importantly, what will North Carolina do?

Don’t underestimate the power of the Tar Heels in all of this. While things have been relatively quiet in ACC country since the UCLA and USC news last week, UNC remains the biggest prize not named Notre Dame. It is a national brand — what other school has a shade of blue named after it? — with a sterling academic reputation. And it is the flagship school of the nation’s 10th-biggest state in terms of population — one that happens to be the biggest remaining state that is not currently in the Big Ten or SEC footprint.

Either of the “Power Two” conferences can make legitimate cases for why it should add UNC. Its former chancellor (Carol Folt) is now the president of USC, the newest member of the Big Ten, which used to be run by a former Tar Heels point guard named Jim Delany. The SEC, meanwhile, could view the potential addition of the school as the perfect response to the Big Ten’s move last week, while also doing little to upset the current league membership.


Texas Tech and Joey McGuire announced that defensive end Tyree Wilson, inside receiver Myles Price, offensive lineman Caleb Rogers, and safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson would attend the Big 12 Media Days next Thursday. The Big 12 also came out with their preseason All-Big 12 team and not one Red Raider made the line.


Dallas Morning News with a story about how Marcus Santos-Silva has transitioned to football from basketball.

Prior to joining the Browns, Santos-Silva hadn’t played the sport since his freshman year of high school. But as one of many players competing for one of the Browns’ last spots on the 53-man roster, his athleticism has impressed the Browns.

Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who knows all too well about the transition from basketball to football after college, met Santos-Silva at VCU. he’s given Santos-Silva some pointers during his transition.

“To us, it’s like a whole new language,” Santos-Silva said. “Right now, since we have this break until training camp, that’s one of my main goals is to commit to the playbook … The pointers he’s given me have really helped me out because I have a type of vision of what it’s going to be like.”


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