Would UCLA actually consider leaving its deep roots in the PAC-12 to find a new home in the Big 12? According to SiriusXM College Sports Nation host Rick Neuheisel, it could happen.
“I do think there are going to be some overtures to some other Power 5 conferences, and I think you gotta look west,” Neuheisel said. “For the same reasons that the Big 12 had to look around and say, ‘who might leave us,’ I think the PAC-12 has to do that.”
Those reasons being that maybe the California schools don’t want to be restricted by playing each other every season; that maybe UCLA wants to get out of the shadow of USC football.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see UCLA say, ‘you know what, this deal with this USC thing, we’re going to go and be our own guy.'”
Another reason why the Bruins might considering jumping to the Big 12, according to Neuheisel? Money, of course.
“UCLA just left Adidas for cash; they left to Under Armour,” he said. “If there were a reason to do it, and all of the sudden you take Los Angeles and put it into the Big 12 market, where Texas and football are king, it would have a huge impact.”
The conversation took a turn toward the PAC-12 and UCLA after co-host Chris Childers said he would like to see the Colorado Buffaloes back in the Big 12, where they might be more competitive following a disappointing 4-9 season. Neuheisel doesn’t think that conferences are the issue when it comes to winning games.
“That won’t change by going to the Big 12; it’s not like they’re softer opponents,” Neuheisel said. “Ultimately (Colorado head coach) Mike MacIntyre is going to save his job, or lose his job, based on who he recruits.”
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