Montlake Mailbag: B1G dreams, national branding and Tuli appreciation
Should Washington covet the Big Ten? How did Oregon become a national brand? And how many targets will the tight ends see this season?
SEATTLE — Next up in our series of firsts at On Montlake: a good, old-fashioned mailbag. These were a favorite staple of my coverage at The Athletic, and it was great to see so many questions in our first go-round. Remember, Friends of the Program receive priority for mailbag questions, but there was room for several others, too.
As always, questions are edited for length, clarity, grammar and the good of the populace.
Is the B1G dream dead or what? — UWsquints
Depends what you mean by “dead.” And “dream.” And “B1G.” (And “Is.”) For 2024, with USC and UCLA? This being realignment, you never say never, but it sure doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen, primarily because there hasn’t been much recently to suggest the Big Ten wants Washington just yet. Assuming the remaining Pac-12 teams announce a media deal — and, critically, multiyear grant-of-rights agreements for every school — then you can basically forget about it.
What happens at the end of that deal, though, is anybody’s guess. Further consolidation is inevitable. There won’t be anything the Pac-12 can do if the ruling powers (TV executives) deem Washington or Oregon (or others) worthy of inclusion on the highest tier, however conferences or leagues or divisions might be aligned. The Big Ten is hiring a new commissioner. Who knows how aggressively that person might proceed?
All bets are off, of course, if current negotiations fail and 40 percent of the conference fractures and drifts to the Big 12. My money at present, though, is on Washington remaining with its current Pac-12 brethren. So, consider the B1G dream in a deep slumber.