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The Pac-12 will explore expansion. Why the commissioner believes it’s not a risk to stay at 12 teams

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, left, fields questions during Pac-12 football Media Day, July 27, 2021, in LA.
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, left, and Senior Associate Commissioner for Football Operations Merton Hanks field questions during the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Los Angeles.
Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

New Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said the league will consider expansion and has already received interest from outside schools in that regard, but it won’t be necessary for the Power Five conference.

“We don’t think there’s a risk at staying at 12 teams,” Kliavkoff said during his address at Pac-12 football media day Tuesday.

This came as Texas and Oklahoma formally submitted a request for membership to the SEC, one day after informing their current conference, the Big 12, they would not be renewing their grants of media rights following their expiration in 2025.

Kliavkoff reiterated he believes in the strength of the league as it is currently constituted.

“We do not believe expansion is required to continue to thrive,” he said. “… We believe the move by Texas and Oklahoma strengthens our unique position as the only Power Five conference with teams within the Mountain and Pacific time zones.”

Kliavkoff said the fallout from the Texas and Oklahoma situation gives the conference the opportunity to consider expansion, while adding that those evaluations will take time.

“It is a priority to consider all of the (expansion) alternatives that have been presented to us, and we will do that in a timely manner,” he said.