The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Where to for Wazzu?

WSU has a few potential landing spots in realignment
Martin Stadium

WSU has been a staple program of the Pac-12 since its inception but will most likely be relocating to another conference by the start of the 2024 season. Several teams left the conference for more secure media deals and other program benefits.

USC and UCLA made the move to the Big Ten official last summer, sparking the fire for other programs to move on from the conference (Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and Arizona State).

The current state of the Pac-12 only includes four teams (California, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State). This means that the four teams left will have to join another conference, or the Pac will need to add a share of teams from another conference to secure a media deal for the future.

The Cougs will need to take swift action as a university and athletic department in order to secure the future of its athletic programs. They truly only have three options that make sense for the school.

The first option for WSU is the aforementioned idea of the Pac adding teams and securing a media deal. This would take an extreme amount of work between now and 2024, but it’s certainly possible. Adding the likes of Boise State, San Diego State, Fresno State, etc., could give the conference the boost it needs to secure a sustainable media deal.

The teams that the Pac would most likely recruit already have a media deal with another conference. This means that some programs may opt to stick with the conference they’re already in for stability.

The second and least likely option is for Wazzu to join the Big-12. This would be the best option for the Cougs as the conference already has a media deal in place, and the travel would be excusable due to the potential profit our programs could make.

A move to the Big-12 would also place WSU with some former Pac-12 friends in Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado, but also give them a chance to create some new rivalries. The conference has added a group of other teams to join and it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to consider adding both the Cougs and Oregon State.

The last option is for WSU to join the Mountain West. This option is not all that different from just retaining the Pac, as either way, they will be playing a lot of teams that are currently in the Mountain West. It would be the worst scenario for the Cougars, but it may be a necessary move if something else doesn’t open up elsewhere.

This move would most likely be the bottom of the barrel as far as a media deal would go, but it could provide WSU with some stability for a future move. Travel would be extremely easy in the Mountain West as well, keeping costs low at a time when that needs to be a top concern.

WSU will have to use extreme measures to figure out the scenario for the future as it’s essential for the athletic program’s vitality, as well as the school as a whole. The scenario at play has many moving parts, but no matter where they land, the Cougs will always be the Cougs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zach is a junior multimedia journalism major from Clarkston, Washington. He likes football and grew up going to Cougar football games.