College Football: Pac-12 Conference

Did you ever think that you would live to see a world in which the Pac-12 conference may not exist?


  • Total voters
    5

Capt. Factorial

trifolium contra tempestatem subrigere certum est
Staff member
#2
Can't answer the poll without a time frame - before UCLA and USC announced their intention to depart for the BigN I wouldn't have imagined the PAC dissolving, but once that happened it seemed like only a matter of time.

The new media landscape seems to have doomed the PAC. A major conference that plays their games too late in the day to draw from the major media markets on the East coast, a conference that had woefully inadequate responses to the creation of conference television networks and streaming, a conference with a big divide between big-time sports schools and effectively mid-major schools in the era of the mega-conference - that's already a conference in dire trouble, and when two of the flagships bolted, that was it. No chance to recover as a major conference. The big schools will leave for mega-conferences, and the remainder will re-assemble into a few mid-majors with some reshuffling of the MWC and the WAC at least. Somebody will probably retain the PAC name - likely the resulting conference with the strongest resume - but they'll be an afterthought in the end. Maybe on the level of CUSA or MWC hitting the protein shakes, but that's about the best standing I figure they'll have once the whole realignment settles in.
 
#3
Can't answer the poll without a time frame - before UCLA and USC announced their intention to depart for the BigN I wouldn't have imagined the PAC dissolving, but once that happened it seemed like only a matter of time.

The new media landscape seems to have doomed the PAC. A major conference that plays their games too late in the day to draw from the major media markets on the East coast, a conference that had woefully inadequate responses to the creation of conference television networks and streaming, a conference with a big divide between big-time sports schools and effectively mid-major schools in the era of the mega-conference - that's already a conference in dire trouble, and when two of the flagships bolted, that was it. No chance to recover as a major conference. The big schools will leave for mega-conferences, and the remainder will re-assemble into a few mid-majors with some reshuffling of the MWC and the WAC at least. Somebody will probably retain the PAC name - likely the resulting conference with the strongest resume - but they'll be an afterthought in the end. Maybe on the level of CUSA or MWC hitting the protein shakes, but that's about the best standing I figure they'll have once the whole realignment settles in.
Fair enough...Let's say, for the purposes of this poll..10 years ago.
 
#4
Larry Scott set this up to be an inevitability but it still hurts my heart only about 5 degrees less than if the Kings had moved. I've actually known and followed Pac-10/Pac-12 sports longer than just about anything. Members of my family have gone to UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado. Two of those schools were on my short list before I went to school in Boston (in fact that was a last minute change as I spent 8th grade until April of my senior year only focused on going to UA).

This whole thing is pretty devastating.
 

pdxKingsFan

Hall of Famer
#8
I will never understand how it was the Big 8/12 left standing over the Pac. But as an Arizona fan I think we'll do better in the 12 and the basketball competition is arguably more interesting.

B1G can go choke on something I can't say here. That goes double for the two SoCal schools that destroyed my favorite conference.
And while up here in the PacNW most are rightly concerned with the fates of OSU and WSU who are probably just doomed to be Sacramento State level teams without the Pac, what for Stanford and Cal??? Once proud programs in at least one of the two money sports, not to mention Stanford women's basketball.
 

Capt. Factorial

trifolium contra tempestatem subrigere certum est
Staff member
#9
I will never understand how it was the Big 8/12 left standing over the Pac. But as an Arizona fan I think we'll do better in the 12 and the basketball competition is arguably more interesting.
More than anything, the Big12 is a powerhouse football conference, and over the past say 5 years or so has been a powerhouse basketball conference (outside of Kansas, who is always good). TV revenues are presumably huge, even without a dedicated network (that I am aware of...there isn't a Big12 Network, is there?) The Pac12 has done an absolutely horrific job with its TV contracts and has too many "deadweight" schools dragging down the conference rankings.

In the end, UCLA and USC bolted because the Pac12 was not getting the job done in terms of $$$ or in terms of competition for two schools that would aspire to win a football championship one day. Perhaps if the Pac had its crap together they could have stopped the bleeding from that, but as it stood the Pac "leadership" was nonexistent and the Big12 had solid opportunities to expand because of some defections to the SEC and that was basically that. Too small to compete with the big boys, too big to not get looted when it all hits the fan. The Pac is now sitting on 4 members, the MWC on 11 full members. It seems pretty likely to me that a merger is going to happen there. Maybe the Pac even has enough clout to get the new entity to be called the PacMount instead of the MountPac. But RIP Pac, it was nice knowing you.
 
#10
More than anything, the Big12 is a powerhouse football conference, and over the past say 5 years or so has been a powerhouse basketball conference (outside of Kansas, who is always good). TV revenues are presumably huge, even without a dedicated network (that I am aware of...there isn't a Big12 Network, is there?) The Pac12 has done an absolutely horrific job with its TV contracts and has too many "deadweight" schools dragging down the conference rankings.

In the end, UCLA and USC bolted because the Pac12 was not getting the job done in terms of $$$ or in terms of competition for two schools that would aspire to win a football championship one day. Perhaps if the Pac had its crap together they could have stopped the bleeding from that, but as it stood the Pac "leadership" was nonexistent and the Big12 had solid opportunities to expand because of some defections to the SEC and that was basically that. Too small to compete with the big boys, too big to not get looted when it all hits the fan. The Pac is now sitting on 4 members, the MWC on 11 full members. It seems pretty likely to me that a merger is going to happen there. Maybe the Pac even has enough clout to get the new entity to be called the PacMount instead of the MountPac. But RIP Pac, it was nice knowing you.
For a good chunk of that time the SEC and B1G were raiding the 8/12 though. They kept taking on new schools, and while some were good at football they tended to get embarrassed int he playoffs.

Baylor basketball blowing up is another story, and of course Kansas, so as a Wildcat fan I'm happy they go there. The Pac wasn't getting much respect for tourney bids even though they'd finish over .500 while other conferences were getting 8 bids and seeing 6 bounced in the first round. I think it will be a much better measure of the sort of program Coach Tommy Lloyd is building.

The Pac was always at a disadvantage because media didn't even bother watching their games. They did tend to do well in interconference matchups though, especially when it came to teams 3-8 or so. Kinda gotta hand it to the Ducks big ability to choke on the big stage to bring the overall rep down. Utah to the 12 is good for football and maybe overall it's good for Arizona football to if they are competing with the southwestern schools moreso than the CA and Pacific Coast pipeline.
 
#12
I'm still livid about the Pac-12 but I'm actually at peace with the Cats move to the Big 12. Frankly wouldn't mind seeing Cal and Stanford join down the road if the Pac can't rebuild. Either way I think the fate of those schools is fine. Desirable area, big market, still going to be 2 of the 4 most desirable schools to attend in CA if not the 2 most desirable.

I think the new Big 12 has the potential to rival the ACC and the old Big East as a premier basketball conference and outside of Iowa State and West Virginia the travel should be more accommodating. Will they even play those schools annually in most sports in a 16+ team league? Doubtful.

Football wise, as Cap said they've moved ahead of the Pac (I'll stick to my belief that is surreal once Texas and Oklahoma left, and when you consider it was only a decade ago that Colorado left, along with Nebraska and A&M [plus Missouri to the SEC which I admit I don't get?]). Arizona has always been mid and is in the middle of a full rebuild right now, but I'd rather be mid in Big 12 than mid in the Pac right now.

UCLA and USC obviously got big pay days to do what they did but I don't see them being anything but mid in the B1G. Oregon and UW actually come out ahead in the long run if they get equal shares down the road. In football only I think Utah may have accomplished what TCU did by hopping conferences after the SWC dissolved.

Oregon State and WSU are huge losers. Like they will be begging into the MWC but bringing very little if the Pac can't find a way to reverse merge.
If Apple wants to buy everything and do a joint deal on broadcasting maybe they can save the Pac brand. It will never be the same.

Also they completely killed and tarnished the Rose Bowl a decade or so ago but what's its affiliation now? Or just an at large playoff game?
 
#13
Also they completely killed and tarnished the Rose Bowl a decade or so ago but what's its affiliation now? Or just an at large playoff game?
I will be very interested to see what they do with the Rose Bowl moving forward.

Also, I hope more than anything that this only means better days are in front for the Stanford football program. It's been far too long since Stanford's been able to call themselves National Champs.
 
#15
Good for basketball I guess. Their football programs might be more likely to be bowl eligible too.

For all of the "olympic" sports, what a nightmare for travel.

Can't wait to see the Oregon State people in my twitter feed going nuts.
 

Capt. Factorial

trifolium contra tempestatem subrigere certum est
Staff member
#16
Can't wait to see the Oregon State people in my twitter feed going nuts.
It's not like there was ever going to be a Pac-4. It was already over, just a question of who goes where. Cal and Stanford presumably did well to jump to the ACC. Oregon State and Washington State need to be eyeing the MWC real hard at this point.
 
#17
Good for basketball I guess. Their football programs might be more likely to be bowl eligible too.

For all of the "olympic" sports, what a nightmare for travel.

Can't wait to see the Oregon State people in my twitter feed going nuts.
It's not like there was ever going to be a Pac-4. It was already over, just a question of who goes where. Cal and Stanford presumably did well to jump to the ACC. Oregon State and Washington State need to be eyeing the MWC real hard at this point.
I'm glad Stanford did NOT go independent, like some of the heavy rumors were anticipating would happen.
 
#18
It's not like there was ever going to be a Pac-4. It was already over, just a question of who goes where. Cal and Stanford presumably did well to jump to the ACC. Oregon State and Washington State need to be eyeing the MWC real hard at this point.
No, but there seemed to be this real heavy denial that OSU and WSU were going to get left holding the bag. I'd see OSU people throwing out tv numbers or talking about lesser tier sports (OSU has a great college baseball program, but college baseball is not a popular tv sport).

They didn't have the national brand that UO or even UW had, and they are a few hours from the major airports. Not to mention PacNW teams of all stripes have the worst travel schedules on the planet, nobody was going to invite them because they don't want to schedule and play away games in rural Oregon and Washington.

Mountain West has always been their lifeboat but they've had some bug up their ass about accepting it.

oh just for the record, I work closely with a program at OSU, and secretly root for them during the civil war games, so I'm not tap-dancing on their graves.
 
#19
Traveling is going to be awful for all of the west coast teams. How are they figuring out flights and budgeting? I guess at least the kids get to travel to all these new places.
 
#20
I don’t love this for Stanford, but it was the least worst option at this point. The NCAA needs to hurry up and just make a football-specific super league so the rest of college athletics can regain some of the tradition that made it special. This realignment doesn’t seem sustainable in the long run, but at least Stanford and Cal found a respectable landing spot, and it should make for some fun conference basketball games in the meantime.
 
#21
Football super league makes sense.

I'm pretty sad about the Pac-12 but as a hoops conference I'm at least excited about Arizona in the Big 12. And from travel standpoint the worst travel for the Wildcats is only marginally worse than OSU and WSU (probably closer to airports so possibly better after travel time to Pullman is factored)

One thing that's kind of funny to me is complaints that "now parents can't go to the games". Like yeah, that might suck but we're reminded all the way through youth sports that the games are for the kids not the parents. And ultimately, they are supposed to be about getting that degree fully or at least heavily subsidized.
 

Capt. Factorial

trifolium contra tempestatem subrigere certum est
Staff member
#22
And ultimately, they are supposed to be about getting that degree fully or at least heavily subsidized.
The ideal of the student-athlete (with respect to revenue sports at least) is one convenient fiction that I hope goes by the wayside sooner rather than later.

Sure, when Brown was playing Harvard in pigskin in 1915 those were student-athletes. Today, D1 football and basketball are effectively training programs for the pros. Through a long process that probably made sense at every step, Brown/Harvard developed into what we have today and actual student-athletes slowly morphed into fictional student-athletes. You couldn't have imagined the process happening in one step ("Hey, let's start a professional training program for our sport, but instead of sponsoring and administering it ourselves, let's attach it to the university system!") but it now is what it is and I think many if not all college sports fans are perfectly content with the system.

That said, it's just time to take a step back and recognize where we are. Part of that recognition is to acknowledge that the majority of players in revenue sports are not there to get an education, and the ones that are - typically those with little hope of establishing a professional career in sports - aren't the players that drive the system. Why force the players that drive the system to go to classes if that's not what they are there for?
 
#23
The ideal of the student-athlete (with respect to revenue sports at least) is one convenient fiction that I hope goes by the wayside sooner rather than later.

Sure, when Brown was playing Harvard in pigskin in 1915 those were student-athletes. Today, D1 football and basketball are effectively training programs for the pros. Through a long process that probably made sense at every step, Brown/Harvard developed into what we have today and actual student-athletes slowly morphed into fictional student-athletes. You couldn't have imagined the process happening in one step ("Hey, let's start a professional training program for our sport, but instead of sponsoring and administering it ourselves, let's attach it to the university system!") but it now is what it is and I think many if not all college sports fans are perfectly content with the system.

That said, it's just time to take a step back and recognize where we are. Part of that recognition is to acknowledge that the majority of players in revenue sports are not there to get an education, and the ones that are - typically those with little hope of establishing a professional career in sports - aren't the players that drive the system. Why force the players that drive the system to go to classes if that's not what they are there for?
I'm talking about non-revenue sports Cap. Pretty sure with NIL parents have no problem attending games of the major program athletes.

Most of the complaints are about the field hockey mom parent "my daughter chose to play at Cal so her family could go to games". mmmmm, maybe? But also Cal was like the third most desirable school back when I was a kid?
 

Capt. Factorial

trifolium contra tempestatem subrigere certum est
Staff member
#24
I'm talking about non-revenue sports Cap. Pretty sure with NIL parents have no problem attending games of the major program athletes.

Most of the complaints are about the field hockey mom parent "my daughter chose to play at Cal so her family could go to games". mmmmm, maybe? But also Cal was like the third most desirable school back when I was a kid?
Yeah, non-revenue is an entirely different thing. Didn't catch on that you were talking about non-revenue as my own focus would be squarely on FB/BB.

From an academic point of view, I'd say Cal was at worst the third-most desirable school back in my day (on the west coast) with the other two being Stanford and UCLA.
 
#25
Yeah, non-revenue is an entirely different thing. Didn't catch on that you were talking about non-revenue as my own focus would be squarely on FB/BB.

From an academic point of view, I'd say Cal was at worst the third-most desirable school back in my day (on the west coast) with the other two being Stanford and UCLA.
Yeah, I had Stanford and Harvard as 1/2 on my list. Cal and UCLA and then Notre Dame rounded my top 5. Had I not gone to Jesuit I'd slide USC into that last spot.

The star basketball player on our team went to UCSB (this was the team that lost NorCal state championship to Jason Kidd's team). Turns out he was pretty smart.
 
#26
Hey, I have an idea for a brand new elite conference.
Stick with me, I know this is crazy, but in a time of rampant conference realignment, is it really that far-fetched?

Take:

USC, UCLA, Oregon, and Washington from the Big 10
Cal and Stanford from the ACC
Arizona and Arizona State from the Big 12
Washington State and Oregon State from the Mountain West

Put them all in the SAME conference.

You'd have several elite universities and programs, natural regional rivalries, a huge local high school talent pool from which to recruit, and shorter travel within a single time zone (No MDT for AZ, so effectively PST most the year).

Maybe the conference champion schedules an annual game with the Big 10 champion for more national exposure.
Let's say they play New Year's Day, while most of the country is blanketed in snow.
Host it at the Rose Bowl. Have a parade to showcase the California sunshine with kickoff right as the sun sets over the hills of Pasadena.

I know it would never happen because big money media and current TV contracts, modern re-alignment politics, East Coast time zone bias, and the era of the mega-conference won't allow for something so romantically quaint and sentimental as an entire conference confined to the West Coast.

But it's fun to imagine. It'd be an entire conference of champions.
 

Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#28

As much as I love Mark Jones the basketball announcer, I might like Mark Jones, guy who gets a lot of time to say random weird things like he's been enjoying Colorado's stance on self-medication too much (despite spending a lot of his time in California, where the same stance is also in effect) between football plays, better.


Pretty sure he's used that "Stuntin' like his daddy" line for Domas like a bajillion times over the last season though

(Also Prime has already succeeded in turning Colorado football into some of the more interesting sports TV out there in three weeks)