Yet here we are. The Big Ten distributed what is believed to be just over $50 million to each school in revenue in 2018. The Pac-12 was about $30 million. That’s a tough gap to overcome once. Repeat it year after year and this is what you get.
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The Pac-12’s problem is trying to figure out how to even stop the gap from growing, let alone close it. The West Coast was never going to be as football mad as the Midwest or South, but things keep getting worse. The league lacks a cash machine such as the Big Ten or SEC Network. The College Football Playoff has frozen out its teams in four of its six years of existence, depressing excitement and donations.
One sign of trouble is the increasing number of elite West Coast high school recruits, especially in California, heading east to play ball, which just compounds everything.