Breaking News; Pac-16 Addendum


I came across a fascinating article in the New York Times that breaks down conference realignment/expansion by three factors, market size, % share of fans for each college within a market, and “avidness” of the fanbase. As you can imagine, SEC-country is a powerhouse because they have an extremely avid fanbase, even if they mostly occupy mid-sized markets. The Big Ten is only slightly less avid, but contains larger markets. And while the Pac-12 is in many of the largest markets in the country, the fact is that most west coast people are not avid football fans. Even if they have a collegiate preference, they are not rabid about it and thus are less likely to tune into a game on TV or buy merchandise.

Here’s the link for the full article:

I copied and pasted the most relevant part from the article here:


The Pacific-12 plays plenty of good football, but the low avidity of college football fans in the Western United States means that it’s in the second-tier as a television product: only U.S.C. and U.C.L.A. have at least 1 million decided fans each. Despite their strong performance on the field, meanwhile, Washington and Oregon rank outside the top 40 in terms of their fan footprint. And other conference schools, like Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State, do poorly by major-conference standards.

As compared to these teams, new additions Colorado (0.5 million fans) and Utah (0.4 million) look tolerable — but their fan bases are likewise middling by national standards.

On the other hand, the Pacific-12’s latest targets — Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State — have about 5.1 million fans between them, which would expand the conference’s aggregate fan base by almost 70 percent. No wonder the Pacific-12 might be willing to make some academic and geographic compromises in order to get them.”