The PAC 12 is all but dead. The historic league that has won significantly more NCAA championships than any other league is down to just four teams after a disastrous Friday.
USC and UCLA had already announced their 2024 departure from the league last summer, and Colorado decided to go to the Big 12 in 2024 last week. But, Friday was a very bloody Friday.
The backdrop is a PAC 12 media deal that never came together. Their current deal is set to expire after the 2023-2024 sports season. Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff insisted that the conference would get a good deal, but he didn’t even present a potential deal to the members until this week. And, it was not a very good one.
It involved partnering with Apple for a deal mostly relying on streaming that would pay each school around $20 million a year. That sum is a good bit less than what teams are getting in the Big 12, and way less than what teams in the Big Ten and SEC are getting.
So, on Friday, Washington and Oregon announced their move to the Big Ten, and Arizona, Utah, and Arizona State were accepted into the Big 12.
That leaves just Washington State, Oregon State, Stanford, and Cal in the PAC 12. That, of course, really isn’t a conference anymore, and the options for those four teams range from bleak to a practical death sentence when it comes to competing on a big stage in college athletics.
And, late Friday night, the PAC 12 released a statement.
“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.”
That does not sound encouraging if you’re one of those four schools left. Also, the Conference of Champions is the Big Ten, now. Bill Walton, you’re invited, too.