The Pac-12 could use a big media deal announcement this week during the league’s football media day Friday in Las Vegas.

I hope it happens and that all the handwringing can be put to rest.

The league really needs this after months of predictions of “soon to be done” and promises that matching the Big 12’s $31.5 million “would be a layup.”

It really needs the conversation to change to football. Will Utah repeat? Can USC leave for the Big Ten with a title? Are Oregon and Washington prepared to regain their respective momentum? Is Cam Rising ready to start in Game 1? Can USC’s Caleb Williams and Oregon’s Bo Nix lead their teams to the Rose Bowl? What about Utah getting six players on the preseason all-conference first team?

These are all headlines to be examined. 

Otherwise, the steady drumbeat of negativity continues.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that according to a source no new Pac-12 media rights deal will be announced this week.

Guess we’ll see.

This past week, former Washington QB turned broadcaster, Fox Sports analyst Brock Huard, called the Pac-12’s situation with media negotiations “very dire.” 

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Huard did not mince words in criticizing how some Pac-12 schools have handled themselves in recent years — from everything to commitment to the game to support in the stands.

Said Huard, “These universities, these campuses, broke the trust of these networks by not showing up, by not caring. And frankly in some of the places like Palo Alto and Berkeley, they’d rather not have football.

“Upper campus and some of their leadership don’t even need football … and once you’ve broken that trust, and these networks, who pay all the money, and they do all the work, and they’ve got all of their advertisers, they need numbers. We’ve got to have eyeballs.”


Of course, Huard is not talking about Utah’s support in the stands. But there are trends with Stanford and Cal and they are not enlightening.

Jim Williams, a media expert based in Washington, D.C., tweeted this week just how troublesome the league’s media negotiations have become.

“There will be case studies done, books written, movies made, and songs sung about how badly the @pac12 has handled the optics of their media deal. Can there still be deal done that keeps everyone together — yes, can they overcome these optics — yes ... But they need some positive news soon and it can’t be we are close to a deal.”

That may be a little dramatic.

If the league announces its deal this week, puts its magical spin on it, and if the league’s remaining 10 teams stick together throughout the new TV deal, many will forget and just go on with life.

But, if a deal happens and a school like Colorado doesn’t like it and bolts for the Big 12, then there will be fireworks.

There are many who believe Colorado is poised to leave the Pac-12 very soon. There was a lot of chatter at the Big 12 football media days in Arlington, Texas, last week that a Colorado announcement is coming soon, likely this week.

Barry Tramel, a veteran columnist of The Oklahoman in the heart of Big 12 country, has frequently reported and repeated a claim that a valued source in the league said Colorado is coming.

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BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe did not directly offer any concrete details about conference expansion for the Big 12, but did say there is a time for such action — if it happens — and then it’s time to get on with football.

The implication was that the time and season for expansion deals and talk are closing. And closing real soon. If something is going to happen and it hinges on a Pac-12 media deal or lack thereof, decisions will probably be made sooner rather than later.

That window is narrowing down to days if Colorado decides to pull the plug.

Last week in Arlington, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark was very guarded about expansion talk. 

“We do have a plan and hopefully we can execute that plan sooner than later,” Yormark told reporters, trying not to be specific. “I love the competition of this conference right now …And if we stay at 12 (teams) we’re perfectly fine with that.”

When events begin on Friday at the Resorts World Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium, it just could be one of the most anticipated media days in memory — whether there’s a media announcement or not. 

Maybe the latter will be the biggest news because of what dominoes will follow.

Will a new Pac-12 media rights deal get finalized before the conference meets Friday in Las Vegas for its annual football media day? | Ralph Freso, Associated Press