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Weekly Six Pac: Home Shopping Network

WSU and OSU continue search for a conference

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

1. With ongoing conference reshuffling, Oregon State and Washington State look like the two Pac programs with the most uncertain future and the worst prospects of long-term financial stability. Coug Center talks about how the last two weeks have put WSU fans through the five stages of grief, ending with the acceptance that the situation may have changed, but that they will remain WSU fans and will find sunshine poking through the clouds one way or another.

2. It might feel like the “we’re all trying to find the guy who did this” meme to read a UCLA blog lamenting the death of the Pac-12. Nonetheless, The Mighty Bruin makes some salient points about the larger factors that preceded the conference’s demise. Neither USC nor UCLA are independently responsible for the arms race of media rights revenue in the sport, nor did they create the seemingly unanimous (among AD’s and University Presidents) sentiment that revenue trumps tradition or stability.

3. While USC prepares to leave for the Big 10, the Trojans remain the betting favorite to win the Pac-12 in the final season of its current construction. Scott Wolf of InsideUSC writes that the favorite status does not come without some weak spots. So far in fall camp, a rebuilt and vaunted offensive line has not come together as quickly as hoped. Likewise, the talent loss in the secondary has shown itself in practices. USC has had problems on the offensive line and in the secondary in recent seasons, and without improvement in those areas, the dream of an undefeated season and a CFP birth are not realistic.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Southern California Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

4. While WSU and OSU have the most difficult conference alignment future, Cal and Stanford have not settled their own affiliation at this point. Rumors have connected both programs to the ACC- ridiculous naming conventions aside-, which would at least provide enough football revenue to keep the programs at a clear P5 level. Write for California ponders what other options the two NorCal schools would have if the ACC dream does not materialize. Every option has significant downsides, though it would not surprise me to see them join the four corners schools in the Big 12.

5. Most of the realignment attention has focused on football since the highest-revenue sport is the one that has driven the changes. We’ve also seen some analysis of the negative impact on lower-revenue sports that will have to travel significantly more without much benefit. That leaves men’s basketball, which will see the Pac-to-B1G pipeline experiencing a somewhat rude awakening. Addicted to Quack previews what Oregon will face in its new conference after the move, including some sneaky good programs that might leave the Pac teams surprised by the overall level of competition.

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Penn State at Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

6. The two-time defending Pac-12 Champs in Utah look like a very formidable squad once again with one major caveat. Cam Rising is the QB who finally made enough explosive plays to help push Kyle Whittingham’s offense over the hump. Unfortunately, Rising suffered a torn ACL in the Rose Bowl and his status is still up in the air for the season opener against Florida. The Deseret News examines the QB depth chart should Rising not be able to go in Week 1.