Pac-12 commissioner says league at 'optimal' size

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm •  Published: November 30, 2012
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STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Friday that the conference is at an "optimal size" and is unlikely to expand anytime in the "foreseeable future."

While other leagues pursue further expansion, Scott said before the conference championship between No. 8 Stanford and No. 17 UCLA that Pac-12 members are more than pleased with the current structure. He also said he anticipates most rival BCS leagues moving to 16-team "super conferences" at some point, but that alone would not force the Pac-12 to expand.

"I won't sit here today and say under any circumstances or never, but this is something I feel very good that we've been at the forefront of," Scott said. "We've pretty much seen this coming. And last fall, we sat down with our presidents and said, 'It's pretty clear to me that our peer conferences are going to 14 and eventually probably 16, although I don't know when that will happen.' And in a world where there are 16-team conferences, we had a thoughtful discussion on where we want to be.

"We had options to go beyond 12," Scott continued. "We will have options in the future. But we made very clear in a strong statement, I think, that 12 is the optimal number for us and allows us to balance very much the geography that we have in six states, rivalries, our teams want to play each other very often, and for a lot of reasons this is where we want to be for the foreseeable future."

Scott has done his best to put the Pac-12 ahead of the curve.

Since taking over on July 1, 2009, Scott has overseen the conference's expansion to include Utah and Colorado and create the inaugural league title game last season, which Oregon won over UCLA. He also negotiated a landmark 12-year television contract — which began this fall — with Fox and ESPN worth about $3 billion and helped created the Pac-12 Networks and Pac-12 Digital Network.

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