The Pac-12 is in a good place. One deal with DirecTV should ensure that they remain in the driver's seat in term of distribution.
Hawaii wants to get in on the action.
Friday is a big day. The future of Hawaii Athletics is at stake. I will be speaking to many stakeholders at the Athletics Summit at noon.— Ben Jay (@HawaiiManoaAD) September 27, 2013
Regents told UH has "no leverage" & is stuck paying travel subsidies to conference opponents. http://t.co/7HrzLivYci #HawaiiFB #HawaiiWVB— Ferd Lewis (@FerdLewis) September 27, 2013
UH officials say they will pitch a Pac-12 vision for donor $$ at invitation-only booster luncheon today. http://t.co/A3LJzof0Xp #HawaiiFB— Ferd Lewis (@FerdLewis) September 27, 2013
It should be pretty obvious why Hawaii wants in. They've seen the benefits the Pac-12 has had on all its member schools (facility upgrades, big-time TV deals, stadium renovations), and Hawaii could use just about all of that. The program has sagged since its BCS appearance in 2007, and there is no sign that being part of the second-tier MWC will alleviate those changes. The Pac-12 could provide that much needed boost.
But why would the Pac-12 want Hawaii?
- The travel costs are enormous. It's no picnic to trek out to the isles, even if the Pac-12 has enjoyed pretty good success in their road excursions.
- Their media market is fairly small. Denver (18th) and Salt Lake City (33rd) made the invitations of Colorado and Utah logistically feasible. Honolulu (72nd) barely would make a dent.
- Larry Scott has already said expansion is pretty much done for the near future. The only way he could probably be enticed back to the table is if a Texas-Oklahoma alliance brought Texas Tech and Oklahoma State back with them to revive the possibility of a Pac-16.
I'd be surprised if the Pac-12 would want to expand into Hawaii. There were enough protests lodged against the idea of Utah being let in due to lax academic standards. Hawaii is not known for its athletic prowess. And the idea of boosting relations with Asian partners also seems pretty flimsy. Many of the Pac-12 schools are much better known and much more attractive destinations than Hawaii.
Moreover, the Pac-12 already recruits Hawaii pretty thoroughly and gets plenty of capable talent. Why on Earth would they want to help the native school reestablish roots and damage their own ability to recruit this region?
Expect this one to fall, like many other Pac-12 expansion proposals to come in the near future.