Fresno State’s future in a larger, more lucrative conference in the tumultuous college football landscape is starting to pick up some steam.
According to reports over the weekend, Fresno State officials have engaged in conversations with the Big 12.
The big picture: A future home in the Big 12 would secure Fresno State’s athletic viability as the collegiate landscape continues to consolidate.
- Fresno State has been part of the Mountain West since 2012, and the Big 12 has added BYU, Houston, UCF and Cincinnati in an attempt to soften the blow of losing Oklahoma and Texas, the conference’s two largest brands.
- College football reporter John Canzano reported that Fresno State President Saul Jimenez-Sandoval has had “multiple conversations” with Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark.
- On the other hand, any hope the Bulldogs could find a place closer to home in the Pac-12 has not gained much traction as Canzano reported that Fresno State has only had “intermittent” contact with the conference.
By the numbers: Joining the Big 12 would be a financial boon for the Bulldogs, putting the university in a far better position to compete on the national level than it currently has with the Mountain West.
- Under the current media rights deal the Mountain West negotiated with Fox and CBS three years ago, Fresno State takes home around $4 million annually.
- Last year the Big 12 signed its new media rights deal through 2031, which gives each member over $30 million annually.
What they’re saying: Yormark joined Canzano’s podcast to discuss the future of the Big 12 and spoke about his desire to add a school on the west coast to give the conference another time zone.
- “I’ve been pretty transparent and intentional that we’d like that fourth time zone to create more value for our media partners…,” Yormark said. “Would I like to be a national conference in all the different time zones – from a geography standpoint have the Big 12 flag all over the country? 100 percent.”