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Ever since USC and UCLA shocked the college athletics world last summer by announcing their departure from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten in 2024, there have been plenty of questions in terms of projected realignment.

The Pac-12 continues to go through media contract negotiations while rumors swirl about what that deal might look like as well as possible defections and additions.

University of Utah leadership has stated publicly numerous times that it is committed to the Pac-12.

But everyone is still waiting to learn about the Pac-12’s next media rights deal.

As Deseret News columnist Dick Harmon wrote, “West Coast-based national college football editor Stewart Mandel of The Athletic cautioned that Pac-12 presidents who publicly declared a late March or mid-April completion date were a little antsy and optimistic. The latest developments include multisourced reports from Mandel and others that the Pac-12 is looking at the CW Network as a home for the league’s football games, along with the announcement that the second-in-command in the league office is leaving.”

Meanwhile, there are reports that Colorado is interested in returning to the Big 12. Could the Pac-12 fill in the huge void left in Southern California with the departure of USC and UCLA by adding San Diego State, which is currently a member of the Mountain West?

June 30 is a date to watch. That’s the last day the Aztecs can inform the Mountain West it is leaving to avoid paying a penalty for taking its media rights to a different conference.

There are a lot of moving pieces. Answers are coming but those answers may not come until later this spring — or maybe until summer.

In case you missed it

Former Utah running back Tavion Thomas has been arrested for investigation of two incidents of domestic violence, including accusations of using a knife to keep a woman from leaving her apartment.

Thomas is being held without bail at the Salt Lake County Jail and faces domestic violence charges in two separate alleged incidents, according to court records obtained by the Deseret News. 

Thomas, 23, allegedly threatened a girlfriend with a knife and took her phone and car keys in an incident earlier this month in Salt Lake County, according to court documents.

From the archives

Related
Is this the year Utah gets back to the top of the gymnastics world?
Finally: Utah Athletics gets ‘contingency approval’ to build $35 million on-campus baseball stadium
Former Utah defensive lineman John Penisini is back in the NFL

Extra points

  • Former Utah guard Lazar Stefanovic transfers to UCLA (Deseret News)
  • How Utah’s Miki Suguturaga, Thomas Yassmin are filling roles at tight end (Deseret News)
  • ‘I’m trying to take it further’: Utah’s Jonah Elliss carrying on a family tradition (Deseret News)
  • Is Dalton Kincaid a top 10 talent in the 2023 NFL draft? (Deseret News)
  • College gymnasts are announcing entry into the transfer portal now, including an All-American from the same club gym as MyKayla Skinner (Deseret News)
  • Why Miles Battle is everything the Utes hoped he’d be (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

The B12 has reportedly invited 6 teams from the PAC12 to join. Meaning official invitations. The 4 corner schools and Oregon and UW. And they invited them long ago.

So, nobody is waiting on a B12 invite.

The only conference Pac12 teams are moving to, without being compelled, would be the B1G or SEC (no rumors of the SEC, but they would go if invited). Unless there is a collapse of the conference due to teams leaving to the B1G. Then some would likely move to the B12 for a time.

None of those things are likely. It’s most likely that the PAC finalizes a deal and they stay together for a period of time until the Big 2 make their next moves.

And those next moves will impact the B12 in ways they won’t want. Just say’n.

— ArizonaUte

As I’ve written previously in this comment section, despite media reports the Pac-12 is very stable. A media rights deal equal to the Big 12 numbers will be released in the next few weeks. Rumors of teams exiting the conference are false. The Utes need to stay where they are, weather the storm, and become the flagship school of the new Pac-12. A College Football Playoff spot is assured. Utah and the rest of the Pac-12 will be just fine.

Of course, all the talk about the Pac-12’s lack of a media deal and Colorado dumping Utah and the rest of the Pac-12 as it slowly crumbles is moot now that the Big Ten has a new commissioner and an invite will soon be extended to Oregon, Washington, Utah, and Stanford.

Ignoring the dismantling of the Pac-12 or fantasizing about an imaginary Big Ten invite: Utah certainly has two beautiful options. These are great times for the University of Utah.

— Camelot92

Up next

April 13 | 7 p.m. | Gymnastics | NCAA championship semifinal | @Fort Worth, Texas | ESPN2
April 14 | 5 p.m. | Softball | vs. Stanford | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream-2
April 14 | 6 p.m. | Baseball | vs. California | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream
April 15 | 2 p.m. | Baseball | vs. California | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream
April 15 | 3 p.m. | Softball | vs. Stanford | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream-2
April 16 | Noon | Baseball | vs. California | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream
April 16 | Noon | Softball | vs. Stanford | @Salt Lake City | Utah Live Stream-2
April 18 | 6 p.m. | Baseball | vs. BYU | @Provo | BYUtv

Utah’s Jillian Hoffman does her floor routine as the Utah Red Rocks compete against Arizona in a gymnastics meet at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, on Friday, March 3, 2023. This week in Fort Worth, Texas, the Red Rocks will be competing in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News