2. San Diego State
The Aztecs have several positives for any power conference looking for a boost in numbers. You have to wonder if, after the announced departures of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 could have saved itself with the addition of San Diego State and someone else.
San Diego County alone is home to 3.3 million people, the city lost its big-time football presence with the recent departure of the NFL’s Chargers to Los Angeles. While the Aztecs have struggled on the field during the past two seasons, the program did win at least 10 games five times between 2015 and 2021, including the 12-2 finish and No. 24 CFP ranking two years ago.
The brand-new home of the Aztecs, Snapdragon Stadium, seats 35,000 and was opened in August 2022. It will also host the new MLS team in San Diego in 2025.
18 San Diego State players have heard their names called in the NFL Draft during the past decade, including four players in 2022 alone and stars like running back Rashaad Penny, who was taken in the first round in 2018.
A football program like San Diego State has done well in the Mountain West and would do considerably better in a power conference, whether that’s a reconstituted Pac-12 or another league.