Washington State is trying to figure out what’s next for WSU athletics after being 1 of the 4 schools to not leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten or Big 12. President Kirk Schulz sees 3 options for Cougar athletics moving forward.

Brett McMurphy shared recent comments made by Schulz to Enrique Cerna. Schulz said Washington State can join the Mountain West, join the AAC or rebuild the Pac-12.

“The third option would be to sort of reconstitute or rebuild the Pac – I’ll say Pac-X right now, there’s 4 members left, but that could change literally within hours,” Schulz said on the podcast, per McMurphy. “And so I think each of those we’re pursuing in a parallel pathway and we want to evaluate what’s going to be best for WSU.”

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Both the Mountain West and AAC are Group of 5 conferences, while the Pac-12 had the Autonomy 5 (Power 5) label. The expanded 12-team College Football Playoff format beginning in 2024 means a Group of 5 program could have a better chance of winning the title. With the top 6 conference champions making the field, there is guaranteed to be at least 1 program from the Group of 5 in the CFP.

As of right now, none of the remaining “Pac-4” schools have found a new home for 2024 and beyond. Cal and Stanford have notably been linked to the ACC, though the conference did not have enough support to extend invitations.