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The Destruction of the Pac-12


All I can say about the decision of USC and UCLA to abandon the Pac-12 is that it makes me very sad. Pac-10 and then Pac-12 football has, since the late 1980s, been my consumer sport of choice, and that will effectively be over in 2024. It’s very likely that the Oregon-Washington rivalry will be preserved in some fashion as the Ducks and Huskies move to the SEC Northwest or whatever other bullshit conference they find themselves in, but the prospects of Oregon State and Washington State are much grimmer. That’s a shame, notwithstanding the long-term contempt that I hold for those programs and their fans. I’m sure that the financial numbers make sense for the LA schools, although it bears note that the Trojans and Bruins haven’t exactly lit the Pac-12 on fire over the last decade:

I’m sure that a pair of programs who’ve seen this record of success in the Pac-12 South will have lots of fun visiting Ann Arbor in November. And good luck in Columbus, boys!

This is obviously bad for the athletes in the money sports, who will spend much more time in travel, and from everything I’ve read its absolutely disastrous for the non-money sports. The Pac-12 is extremely competitive in many of the latter and the athletes in those sports will quite likely suffer from the most serious travel dislocations. Chief takeaway: You absolutely, positively, should never trust any motherfucker from Los Angeles. We forget that sometimes.

Where to from here? Washington and Oregon will quite likely move in lockstep, ending up in either the Big 10 or the SEC. The latter would certainly be more interesting for me, as it would likely result in an occasional Ducks visit to Lexington. Oregon State and Washington State… I dunno. Mountain West? Same for Colorado and Utah? With respect to the northern California schools there’s a problem, because while Cal and Stanford are closely tied together the latter is a serious national program and the former is not. But it saddens me that the games and rivalries that I’ve grown to appreciate over the past forty years (including some new ones, such as the emerging rivalry between Oregon and Utah) will soon be gone, likely to be replaced by an every-other-year scrum against Rutgers or Northwestern or Vanderbilt or some similar garbage.

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