If you are a fan of college football, you’ve heard of the term “conference realignment,” which might be better described from the PAC-12’s perspective as “conference implosion.”
The era of the “Power 5” conferences is seemingly no more, with the PAC-12 now realistically being the “PAC 4,” leaving only Stanford, University of California, Oregon State, and Washington State as the remaining teams from the formerly prestigious west coast conference.
Memes have been plentiful throughout the conference’s break-apart in the past week, and this one seems to paint the current picture of the conference pretty well:
Nearly every school that once called the PAC-12 their conference has moved on to the Big 12, with Colorado being the first to go, followed by Oregon and Washington, and then finally Arizona, Arizona State and Utah over the weekend. Schools were worried that the PAC-12 had failed to secure a TV rights deal after negotiating with potential carriers for over a year, and decided the safest route would be to abandon the conference altogether.
Universities leaving for other conferences has been pretty normal in this recent era of “conference realignment,” but no conference has been left in shambles as bad as the PAC-12 has this past week. The conference even took to social media to share their discontent with the current situation, stating:
“Today’s news is incredibly disappointing for student-athletes, fans, alumni and staff of the Pac-12 who cherish the over 100-year history, tradition and rivalries of the Conference of Champions.
We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities.”
While the PAC-12 has been worried about “rich tradition and history,” everyone else is showing that all they really care about is money. Joining into a conference that is primarily based in middle America doesn’t make a lot of sense logistically for schools like Oregon and Washington (considering student-athlete travel expenses, schedules, etc.), but all of that doesn’t matter if the schools get to stuff their fat pockets with lucrative TV deal money.
And now there are rumblings that the ACC (Atlantic Coastal Conference) could swoop in and steal Stanford from the PAC-12, or that the AAC (American Athletic Conference) could offer to take in all four of the remaining PAC-12 schools. Even losing one other school would be detrimental to the future existence of the PAC-12.
NEWS: The AAC is interested in adding any of the 4 remaining Pac-12 schools, @EricPrisbell reports🚨
And you know things are bad if a weather man decides to deliver a low blow to the former Power 5 conference. Alex Pry, a meteorologist in Georgia, was describing a weather cell on the radar moving through the Macon area and said this:
“If you take a look at the radar, fairly quiet except for some stuff up here in our Northwest.
Those are some showers that look to be breaking apart, kind of falling apart like the PAC-12 conference right there.”