Former ASU coach Herm Edwards optimistic about Pac-12’s future

Jul 28, 2023, 6:34 PM

The Pac-12 is about to look a whole lot more different than Herm Edwards remembers it since he joined Arizona State in 2017 as its football coach and was fired in September 2022.

The future departure of USC and UCLA, combined with the recent development of Colorado’s as well, has the longevity of the conference in doubt, with several more changes surely coming.

Edwards, however, is among the optimists when it comes to how it all shakes out.

“Well I think the Pac-8 will find a way to add more teams,” he told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday. “They’ve lost some outstanding football teams but they’ll add some teams. These presidents and these ADs, they’re well aware of what they need to do.

“The problem for them a little bit is the TV contract. That’s what generates all this money for all these universities. … It’s interesting to watch this thing unfold.”

Schools like San Diego State, Southern Methodist, Boise State, Fresno State and UNLV have been mentioned in recent weeks as targets worth considering for the Pac-12.

But there’s no replacing USC and UCLA, who are off to the Big Ten at the end of the 2023-24 season.

“That’s always tough,” Edwards said of those two exits. “Because you’re talking about programs that were in the original Pac-8. … There’s been some movement there. You lose those two big-time programs. They’ll find a way. … No one knows right now.”

Edwards also mentioned the possibility of Pac-12 teams leaving to join another conference, another possibility that could emerge in the summer.

247 Sports’ Brandon Marcello reports the Arizona Wildcats are a “primary target” next on the list for the Big 12, which could increase the gap even further for the conference set to be the best destination for men’s basketball. BYU, Houston, UCF and Cincinnati have been added to a conference that includes a few storied basketball programs like Baylor, Kansas and Texas.

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