The Pac-12 Conference has recently experienced a mass exodus as several schools have decided to join other Power 5 conferences.
Late last month, Colorado announced its intentions to join the Big 12, starting in 2024. Southern California and UCLA have previously said they will leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten. In addition to the departures, the Pac-12 also has to contend with the expiration of the league’s current media rights deals.
Stanford will soon be one of the last prominent programs in the Pac-12, but the school’s name has been mentioned as one of the programs that could potentially join the ACC.
Shortly after the Buffaloes move to the Big 12 was announced, the Pac-12 released a statement that said the league will consider expansion.
“We are focused on concluding our media rights deal and securing our continued success and growth,” the Pac-12 said. “Immediately following the conclusion of our media rights deal, we will embrace expansion opportunities and bring new fans, markets, excitement and value to the Pac-12.”
If Stanford does decide to join the ACC, travel is a potential issue that could arise. Stanford Stadium is in California, whereas the vast majority of ACC schools are based along the East Coast. But Stanford coach Troy Taylor is not concerned about any possible logistical challenges.
“I’m OK with traveling. Our guys love playing football, and if you’ve got to travel a little more, that means when people come play us, they got to travel,” Taylor said.
Taylor added that flying on a plane for a few hours should not present much of an issue.
“We want to be in a great conference, and we’re sure that will happen. The travel, if that happens, it’s fine. People used to have to come across the country in a covered wagon – it would take them months and they’d be completely different people by the time they got there. We get on a plane for five hours, six hours, that’s not the end of the world. You get drinks served to you and some snacks, and it’s not that bad.”
California and SMU have also been mentioned as possible future targets for the ACC.
Taylor coached at Sacramento State and was hired by Stanford in December. He expressed his desire for the Cardinal program to remain in a Power 5 conference.
“I think the players that committed to us and came here, they want to play Power 5 football, and that is what our intention is with this university,” Taylor said Tuesday. “I can’t imagine anything else.”
It is unlikely that Taylor will ultimately be one of the decision makers on Stanford’s future, but he said he is confident the school will “end up in a good place.” He also noted that he is doing his best to keep the recruiting class as up to date as possible.
“Obviously, people want to hear what’s going on, and I tell them to just be patient, and hopefully we’ll come to some resolution,” Taylor said. “I don’t have any answers for them at this point, but they trust the brand of Stanford, why they chose Stanford, and we will end up at a good place. I really believe that. Wish it was in the Pac-12 and sorry to see that end, but as a coach, as a player, you move forward quickly.”