The dust has settled on a wild week of conference realignment in college sports. And, the result is that, for all intents and purposes, the PAC 12 is no more.
After Colorado left the conference last week for the Big 12 and USC and UCLA announced their departure last year for the Big Ten, this week saw over half of the remaining teams leave the conference. Washington and Oregon are heading to the Big Ten, while Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State are headed to the Big 12, with all the teams changing leagues set to begin play in 2024.
So, what happened on Friday, when those five teams departed? Some details have been trickling out. Here is Oregon Live with more.
“(Friday) morning at 7 a.m. was another called meeting of the Pac-12 presidents, and some schools didn’t show up,” (Arizona State University President Michael) Crow told reporters in Tempe on Saturday. “So you might know that then, therefore the conference was no longer viable. … Once Oregon and Washington decided to go to the Big Ten, the (Pac-12) conference was no longer viable. You can’t be in a non-viable position for more than a few hours in our minds. We resolved that.
“There were a lot of forces at work, including the overlords of the media empires that are out there that were driving a lot of this,” Crow said. “The Colorado departure was really an indication of the fact that there was great instability in the media market and it created an unstable moment. …
“We were offered a media contract by the Apple corporation, which was a technological 23rd century Star Trek thing with really unbelievable capability that we were very interested, ASU was very interested in. Digitization of all ASU football games, all men’s basketball games and all women’s basketball games instantly and available anywhere in the world at the touch of a button from any device, anywhere. Digitally then manipulable by the watcher both during the game, in between games, in between multiple games at the same time as well as usable by athletes for recruitment and so forth and so on after the games as an archive of things.
“We thought there was some risk, but huge opportunity. Several of the schools were committed to that, but it created a destabilizing moment of traditional versus this modern thing.”
Man, that Apple-PAC 12 deal was really bad. Who can blame the teams that left for greener, pun intended, pastures?