UCLA and USC joined the Big Ten last week. This is good news for those of us who cherish the right to make tired jokes about geographical and numerical inconsistencies. But it’s lousy news for the Pac-12, which now finds itself without one of its cornerstone football programs in USC, which just poached its way back into relevance by snatching Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. Also, they lost UCLA. According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, they may lose six more teams to the Big 12, and essentially no longer exist, before long.
Just over a decade ago, the Pac-12 was on the verge of welcoming Texas into the fold, a coup that would have put it alongside the SEC as a power conference among power conferences. Instead, Texas pulled half a Notre Dame and stayed in the Big 12 (more counting jokes for your arsenal) while booting up a cable network of their own. Some say the Longhorn Network was the MTV of my children’s generation. It’s true. Alas, that network is likely to die three years from now when UT, alongside Oklahoma, moves to the SEC. That’s right: We’re in the midst of yet another realignment binge in college football, wherein you scream STOP THESE CONFERENCES I WANNA GET OFF! and ask the person next to you when exactly, did Syracuse joined the Big Mid-American 14. Much pearl clutching will ensue, because no sport enjoys playing Remember When more than college football does.