Here lies the Pac-12.
You said it well.
Nebraska has never been Nebraska since joining the BIG, I hope UW fares better.
I really hope that Stanford and CAL are added and there is a regular 6 team division that UW has 5 games against each year, that would be ideal.
Fantastic column CC ... Doubt anyone, anywhere will write a better eulogy for the Pac-12.
(Maybe I'll copy and paste it in the comments section of the Athletic to let 'em know what they're missing 😉)
I'm 100% amped to see what we do in the B1G with a gifted coach and (hopefully) an upper campus and athletic director fully committed to being successful in football and basketball.
The hidden gift in moving to the Big Ten is that the same West Coast presidents with their "one foot in, one foot out" attitude toward big-time athletics will NOT be the ones calling the shots in the Big Ten. Very thankful for that change.
Someone check on Bill Walton
@Christian One thing needs to be addressed: As Oregon surely will become our primary rival in the B1G, that game needs a name! I suggest that you do a poll here on OnMontlake soliciting ideas and then you and Danny debate them all on Say Who, Say Pod – perhaps even tournament-style – to select one. We need this public service. The rivalry needs a name.
I submit the humble but clear Columbia Cup. But I'm sure others can come up with cleverer and more interesting ideas. Cascadia Cup has to be, unfortunately, eliminated because soccer.
And, long live the Apple Cup. I hope it doesn't die.
This sucks. My whole 50+ years of being a Husky fan has been in the PAC.
This is also exciting. This should not have happened, but like everything else in our world, it's being driven by money. We got lucky to be who we are, and end up on the right side of things. I wonder what will happen with Cal and Stanford.
I feel really bad for Oregon State. I know I should feel really bad for the Coogs also, but I'll leave it at just feeling bad for them.
I have a story idea/request for you. And while I’m certainly interested in your opinion on this subject, I would be even more interested to know what the coaching staffs and administrators think about it too.
The topic is the effect on performance for student/athletes (can we even call them that in good conscience?) when they travel thru multiple time zones, multiple times per season. I’m curious about this topic as it pertains to on field performance. But I think it will also have a significant impact on recruiting.
Anecdotally, it’s hard to imagine that athletic performance is not impacted by jet lag, sleep loss, etc. But what studies have been done? In what way was the student/athlete “travel schedule” factored into the conference realignment equation? In terms of recruiting, do the coaching/recruiting staffs have an answer for when a recruit or parent asks “why should I be comfortable with the excess travel I will deal with at Washington vs. if I choose Michigan/Ohio St., etc?
Assuming travel does have a negative impact on performance, especially later in the season after multiple trips and multiple sleep schedule disruptions, how can these concerns be addressed/mitigated? I’m concerned that without accommodations, the effects on performance will result in reduced performance on the field (perhaps even more in sports other than football, where games are played more than 1x/wk). It will also be used against UW and other west coast schools by other schools recruiters. If UW ends up losing enough recruiting battles and on-field performance suffers, you can end up in a negative feedback loop.
I’m hopeful that these things have already been considered and potential solutions are already being pursued...chartered flights, lay-flat accommodations on overnight flights, detailed sleep schedules encouraged/enforced for pre and post all multiple time zone trips. Without a well thought out program, this new conference alignment could become more of a burden on performance as opposed to the boon most fans assume it will be.
There was simply no option other than getting into the Big 10 at this point in time. I am hearing that there is a good chance that the B10 will also bring in Stanford and Cal now to lock down the Bay Area market. To wait on that would be very dumb on their part it seems to me. Both schools fit the B10 very, very well. The Pac had a very long and proud history and tradition, but it is no more. It was pretty much inevitable when U$C and UCLA left for the Big 10.
The barely $20 million that Apple offered for a streaming-only media deal was utterly pathetic - it is less than half of the amount that the UW now needs to run its full range of sports programs. The big TV Networks drove this whole thing, and it is crystal clear that they are pushing things towards several national super-conferences. I am thinking as many as 32 teams in each super-conference when it is all said and done. With four divisions of eight teams in each.
Really well written and exactly as I feel. I am relieved and saddened.
It's a bittersweet day.
And you absolutely nailed it. Terrible but necessary. That's the approach I've had this whole time. This whole things sucks and it's terrible that this is where things have gotten to. But if you take an honest assessment of the lay of the land, this was UW's only choice. It's devastating news for WSU and OSU and (so far) Cal and Stanford. I'm hoping they can pull off a Pac/MWC merger and keep their auto playoff bid and get a decent media deal. But UW was basically forced into this and was lucky enough to have a better option.
I hate this. I hate the loss of tradition. I hate the loss of regionalism. I hate the loss the bowls (see any conversation regarding football with me back in the early 2000s). I hate the potential loss of the Apple Cup (and Civil War). So much will be lost.
But, I'm also breathing a sigh of a relief that UW football can and will still mean something at the highest level. Not many schools/teams are going to get to be there. Washington is darn lucky to be one of them.
The only thing that makes this news palatable is that UW didn’t have a realistic other option. This is otherwise an enormous bummer. Neither the additional money nor the fact that the college football ship of state has been slowly, painfully sailing toward a world with two super conferences, periodically making the have-nots walk the plank, makes me remotely happy about this latest turn of events.
I also have completely mixed emotions today. Excited about the level up in competition and more competent refs. Not looking forward to continued heavy night games. There is also a long travel burden for non football athletics. The loss of Apple Cup and Civil War end of season games of significance, hurts. That is rich, rich tradition, now diminished moving forward. And yeah, a game at Reser is one of the most quintessential college game experiences. Will be sure to make it there this last year of the Pac, before that program (like WSU) starts it’s $ decline and reset, with new players & coaches.
Amazing writing. Thank you.
The PAC was originally created because the PCC collapsed over slush funds used by many PCC schools (including UW) to pay players. After the collapse, the PAC was formed with the slush fund schools but we kept out Idaho and Montana, who did nothing wrong, and who have since been forced to languish at the D-1AA/FCS level (though Idaho did briefly spend some time back at the FBS level).
Of course, today, no one mourns the traditions that were lost, such as the WSU-Idaho rivalry game or the "greed" that killed these traditions. College football didn't die then or lose its appeal. We created new traditions and new norms and new memories and here we are today. Montana and Idaho still have successful football programs and devoted fanbases.
Could not love this more. You perfectly summed up everything I’m feeling today. Fantastic writing.
Btw Christian, thanks for working on the audibility of your podcast. I bitched about it a couple of months ago. Problem is largely fixed!! Compression helps!!