And pods are what will kill so much of college sports. I'm writing something now about how so many people in the media covering conference expansion come across as fuddy-duddies. Face it, most are basketball and football writers who don't have the experience in understanding that college sports if NOW just a business.
Because these writers often focus on lost "rivalries".
And pods, or the current 12 team divisions in the P12, ACC, Big Ten end up being all about greed. Rather than go with building rivalries (usually via geographic splits) there is the greed of each school.
Because the conferences want to go to 16 because of the money, but they are too afraid to so what needs to be done: to create (2) 8 school conferences for sports that operate under the "parent company" of a single conference banner.
The Pac-12 should be:
Pacific Division: USC, UCLA, Cal, Stanford, Oregon, OSU, Washington, WSU
Southwest Division: Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Arizona St.
A year ago, CO and UT weren't even in the Pac-10...can't miss something you never really had. For Arizona and ASU...yes, you give up LA...but you gain Texas as well as Oklahoma, CO, Utah regions. In the long run, schools need to look to the future, to form stability. There are 4 schools in CA...so if you have 7 divisional games per year and only 1 game against the other division, you will at least play a CA school 4 times every 7 years, likely a schedule where you travel to CA every 1-2 times during most 4 year spans.
Just think Pods are a bad way to go. Rivalries, the crutch by the opponents of realignment, will be gone...even more than they are now under the poor 6/6 divisions we see in the B10, P12, ACC.
So there is rarely a time when you can make a business decision that is great AND do MORE to build STRONGER regional rivalries. Yet the conferences don't seem to get it.
Logistically you are 100% right 8/8 split works the best...
But yes rivalries, and recruiting matters, if they go 8/8 the AZ schools could get a permanent rivalry with USC/UCLA but then CO/Utah would be pissed...
I like the pods, for football it mean only 1 trip to the Mtn's (which is upset city w/ the altitude) every other year and 1 far away trip to WA/OR or TX/OK, and access to AZ, LA, SF, and TX for recruiting for everyone...plus if you go 8/8 you physically can't play home and home with everyone in fb in a 4 year career and that means something especially to me. I would be super pissed if I played football for 4 years and never got to visit the Rose Bowl, Colosseum, Seattle, ect... The pods will fix this...
I get the MWC broke off from the WAC due to this system but the WAC was weak when they didn't get AQ status and the PAC is strong no way anyone leaves it so if you can get the 9 votes (or less depending on CU and Utah's status) to expand I don't see this stopping them. The OR and WA schools gave up LA and the AZ and Mtn school will have to but at least they get access to Texas.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...