The University of Oregon and the University of Washington announced on Aug. 4 that they were joining the Big Ten Conference in 2024. The University of Arizona, Arizona State Unvierstity and the Unviersity of Utah followed suit, putting it in pen that at that time, they’ll join the Big 12 Conference. Bo McBrayer, a northern California native, reacts to the Pac-12 realignment.
Don’t be so dramatic. Sports are merely theater anyway, so it is no wonder why we are moved by the storylines and transpiring moments provided by sports.
I have been moved to tears, both happy and sad, by sports. Jimmy Valvano spoke in generalities in his touching ESPYs speech, but his stage was elevated by our love of heroism and overcoming adversity in competition.
The Pac-12 Conference is like one of those beetles that can still walk because parasites are at the steering wheel in its brain while the rest of the decomposing carcass is dragged along for the ride. It has been dead for years. Now that the wheels are grinding to a halt, the curtains are closing and the grieving is underway.
The collegiate athletic organization, known affectionately as “The Conference of Champions” for its ubiquitous dominance over the highest level of amateur athletics, is now the biggest loser in an era of immense financial winning. They are penniless and without reproach, while rival conferences are teeming with vast riches and spoils of war.
Pac It Up, Pac It In – Opinion on the Pac-12 Realignment
The Pac-12 snidely looked down their proboscis at their competition nearly a decade ago. Who would sell their precious television rights to a media conglomerate? We are better and will be the only conference with sovereignty over our future because we flipped the bird to the billions of guaranteed dollars upfront. We will stand tall without crutches when all this hullabaloo dies down, and y’all are back on bent knees asking us for support. Still, we are wise. Like a toddler who wants to pour the milk into the cereal “all by myself,” there is both a lesson to be learned and a big bleeping mess to clean up.
In the case of the Pac-12 realignment, there wasn’t so much a final straw as there was a katana to the carotid. The moment USC and UCLA announced their departure for the Big Ten, that was it. There was no need whatsoever for the drawn-out, exasperated sigh to Shakespearean descent into a pool of burgundy ribbon. The exodus of Arizona and Arizona State, along with Utah, to the Big 12 was kicking a dead horse. Cash cow Oregon and their rival Washington to the Big Ten following the two Los Angeles-based schools dropped the horse’s head directly into Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff’s bed.
A Tragic End
Tech giant Apple is at the center of the latter severance. Their impending media deal with the remaining schools reportedly left the brass in Seattle and Eugene, Ore., queasy and greased the wheels to ask the Big Ten, “You up?” The announcement of their engagement came after they had already eloped and hit the craps tables in the chapel lobby.
I won’t bore you with a chronological record of the Pac-12’s moronic decision-making over the past decade. Rest assured, they already tried, convicted and executed the culprit. This week’s news of the Pac-12 realignment was just that the remains were found, and the case could be closed.
I have been a huge supporter of the Pac-12 my whole life. I’ve always picked the schools closest to my home in Northern California to advance farther in the NCAA March Madness bracket challenge. I bleed green and yellow for the Ducks. I still will, even if they’re flying to Piscataway to face Rutgers.
The Conference of Champions used to be comprised of 12 amazing schools with excellence in all sports, from football to swimming and archery. Now, there are four that are picking dandelions at the school loading zone while their dad drinks at a bar because he forgot it was his day to get them. I’m not bitter. My new stepdad likes running 23-personnel and kicking off at 9 o’clock in the morning.