Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff faces a grueling uphill battle to keep his conference alive and prosperous. He's not only up for the challenge; he's willing to get his hands a bit dirty.
Kliavkoff spoke at Pac-12 Media Day Friday morning and, of course, conference realignment was a major topic of conversation. Under his watch, yet without him having any knowledge of it, USC and UCLA announced both will soon leave the conference for the Big Ten.
However, Kliavkoff didn't necessarily vent his frustrations at the Big Ten while at the podium this Friday morning. Instead, he took it as an opportunity to wreck the Big 12.
Kliavkoff revealed he hasn't made a decision regarding whether or not the Pac-12 will begin "shopping" what he referred to as the "scared" Big 12 conference. Shots fired.
"As for the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that. We haven't decided if we're going shopping there yet," Kliavkoff said, clearly responding to Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark's "open for business" comment made last week.
Kliavkoff feels that the Big 12 has been doing everything it can to try and "destabilize" the Pac-12. The conference commissioner feels it shows the Big 12 is "scared."
"That remark was a reflection of the fact that I've been spending four weeks trying to defend against grenades that have been lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference," said Kliavkoff. "I understand why they're doing it. When you look at the relative media value between the two conferences, I get it, I get why they're scared, why they're trying to destabilize us. I was just tired of that."
Wow. Conference wars have begun.
The Pac-12 is clearly attempting to fight this one out. Will the Big 12 fight back?