The Pac-12 is a sinking ship and everyone is jumping overboard in front of our eyes.
In a surprising move, the Big 12 has added Colorado to its conference, shaking up the college football expansion and conference realignment landscape. This is another big move that can be credited to the addition of Head Coach Deion Sanders. This has left the Pac-12 in a weird position, with insiders speculating that more of its remaining teams, including Oregon and Washington, could be considering leaving as well.
College football insider Brett McMurphy said that while the Big 12 would love to have Oregon and Washington, they might be hesitant as these schools could potentially be eyeing other opportunities, such as an invitation to join the Big Ten. All of this conference realignment started when Texas and Oklahoma left the Big 12 for the SEC, followed by UCLA and USC leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.
Oregon and Washington believe that joining the Big Ten could boost the quality of their schedules compared to the remaining teams in the Pac-12, which includes teams such as Stanford and Cal that have been at the bottom of their respective conferences for some time now. With the Pac-12 losing teams and the Big 12 still looking to expand, the college football expansion process is far from over and I predict won’t be for the next couple of years.
The downfall of the Pac-12 is something that started in 2011 when the Pac-12 announced its own TV network instead of joining a pre-existing network like the SEC did with CBS. They made a big bet on themselves and that did not pan out well for them. A fall from grace for the PAC-12 which was once home to USC, a powerhouse in the early 2000s when they won 4 National Championships with the likes of famous alumni such as Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart.
The reason I think college football is in good hands is the fact that NIL has spearheaded the idea that many of these athletes at D1 universities are truly not there for school. In today’s world, social media is a viable source of income and if you create a brand, you will be rewarded, especially as an athlete. For example, Livvy Dunne could drop out of LSU right now, pursue social media fulltime, and never have to do her sport ever again. Is this every athlete? No. But in my opinion, we are slowly getting to the point where college football will be its own league, separate from the NCAA and other collegiate sports solely based on the money that has been made available due to massive TV contracts and boosters. Times are changing for collegeiate athletes.
RIP the Pac-12, I will never forget the days I would come home after being overserved and watching Dorian Thompson Robinson running all over USC.