The most important effect of the last week’s conference shuffling is that this weekly post will need a new gimmick. I will pause on the Six Pac during the football season to focus on against the spread picks. Will the Six Pac ever return? Will it become a weekly Big 10? Will I come up with a new pun? The world waits with baited breath. In the meantime, the goings-on in the rest of the conference remain interesting.
1. Throughout the realignment process, Oregon has been UW’s partner in crime. Most pundits assumed that Oregon would be the program to jump at the opportunity for more stability and higher revenue. Instead, the reports indicated that the Ducks agreed to leave for the Big 10 somewhat reluctantly. Addicted to Quack echoes that sentiment and says that the move feels desperate. They specifically point to the conference’s pecking order, which will put Oregon on a lower rung than they occupied in the Pac. While I have plenty of my own complaints about realignment, swimming with bigger fish in a bigger pond is not at the top of the list.
2. Arizona will join Arizona State and Utah on the road to the Big 12 with Colorado. Arizona Desert Swarm penned a Dear John letter to the Pac-12 on its way out the door. The gist of the letter is that the conference itself is at fault for the departures because it ran itself so poorly over the last 10-20 years that its future was no longer stable. The point begs the question of who, exactly, is the conference if not the teams that make it up.
3. Sports Business Journal looked at what is known about the final bids for Pac-12 media rights. It harkens back to George Kliavkoff’s prediction that the offers would get better the longer the conference waited. In fact, the streaming market has become less valuable over that time with shrinking subscription numbers and the offers got worse. I don’t blame Kliavkoff for failing to clean up the mess created by Larry Scott and shifting football demographics, but he also wasn’t even close to landing the plane.
4. I typically won’t jump at the chance to agree with the Cougs, but this summary of the situation on Coug Center is on point. Michael Preston writes that there isn’t one person or program to blame, but that the conference fell to a perfect storm of dysfunction. and an overreliance on the inertia of traditino.
5. Oregon State is in a similarly bad position. Building the Dam has a very clear-eyed view of the situation. They acknowledge that the travel costs and other impacts of trying to join a national conference make it a bad proposition for a program like OSU. Frustrating as it may be, they advocate for finding stability in a conference like the Mountain West and settling in at the top of that sort of conference.
6. Cal is also left in a very difficult situation. While the Bears and Stanford might have more to offer a Power 5 program than the remainders in the Northwest, there isn’t a clear path at the moment. Write for California talks about the discussions the schools have had with the ACC (??), which would be a lifeboat, but an extremely awkward one.