Goodbye to the Power 5 Conferences: Pac-12’s Death Starts New Era

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day

Sunday is a day of many things in life. Whether it’s waking up for that fresh up cup of coffee, brunch or heading to your local church to praise the Lord. On this particular Sunday, it is a day of reflection and a day of saying goodbye. Why? Because there has been a death in the college football world.

The Pac-12 Conference, as we knew it, has died. Unfortunately for the fans of that conference, it wasn’t a painless death either. Imagine what it would feel like to die by a thousand paper cuts. That is exactly how the Pac-12 went out.


How Did It Go Down?

But how exactly did this happen and when did it start? Depending on who you ask, you could get several different answers. If you were speaking with a national media member, they would be the first ones to point the finger at the Big 12 when they took Colorado last week.

However, any person with common sense would understand that the demise of the Pac-12 started long before Colorado made their decision to move to the Big 12. This entire process started over one year ago when the Big Ten took away USC and UCLA. It was the Big Ten (not the Big 12) that took the Pac-12’s top two brands.

As bad as that was, that shouldn’t have been what killed the conference. The Big 12 was in a similar position two years ago when their top two brands (Texas and Oklahoma) announced their decision to leave for the SEC. But the Big 12 went out and added four quality schools with BYU, Houston, Cincinnati, and UCF.


Since the Big 12 added four new schools, they have also had a change at commissioner. Bob Bowlsby was the commissioner when they expanded two years ago and then, over the last year, Brett Yormark has been in charge.

Unlike the Big 12, the Pac-12 and their commissioner George Kliavkoff sat on their hands and did nothing. They have had over one year to get a media deal done and possibly expand. Instead, George Kliavkoff dragged the other ten schools along for a ride to the desert for their burial.

The Pac-12 was never close to getting a deal done yet all we heard from many media lapdogs, and the league itself, over the last six months was how close they were. Deadlines were set and never met, and it turned out they had nothing at all. In fact, they still to this very day never had a hard number for a payout.

It took a third school leaving (Colorado) before serious number were discussed. “Those who are patient will be rewarded,” Kliavkoff said. Well, it turns out whenever you stick your rear end over a hot fire long enough you will eventually get burned. Patience was never the answer for the Pac-12, and it didn’t take one of those fancy diplomas from Stanford or Cal to understand that.

For a conference that prided themselves on academics and held their nose up to schools that didn’t have their academic prestige, they sure followed some idiotic leadership.


Now What?

I mentioned earlier that George Kliavkoff took the schools in the desert for a burial. Luckily for a few schools (Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah) the Big 12 saved them right before they were buried. Even the Big Ten saved Oregon and Washington.

What’s left of the Pac-12 is four schools: Stanford, Cal, Washington State and Oregon State. Trust me when I say that I genuinely feel bad for those schools. They deserve a seat at the table and have earned the right to be in a power conference. Unfortunately, they were just led by poor leadership. Those schools don’t deserve to be left for dead.

Two years ago, I thought the Big 12 was going to be gone forever. National media members and outlets (The Athletic, CBS Sports, ESPN, etc.) were digging the Big 12’s grave. Instead of just laying down, the Big 12 took their shovels and whacked them in the head to crawl out.

But the same can’t be said for the Pac-12. Nobody was digging their grave because George Kliavkoff dug it for them. Remember “The Alliance” two years ago between the Pac-12, ACC, and Big Ten? The Big Ten was the one to hit the Pac-12 in the back of the head when they least expected it.


Over the last 48 hours, I have seen gallons of fake crocodile tears from the national media. I am not buying it. This whole argument about college football being ruined started long ago. Just like in the real world, everything is about money. It’s not about you, me, or the rest of the fans. If you want to sit here and pretend that it just happened, then I have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell you (shoutout King George).

All I want to know is where was this outrage two years ago when the Big 12 Conference was the one in the grave? Our voices weren’t heard, and nobody gave us a chance of survival. The national media tried like hell to bury us, and we gave them hell right back. The difference between now and then is that the Pac-12 crumbling affected people that didn’t feel it, or care, two years ago.

The Pac-12 will never be the same. Sure, the name may stick around, but the days of college football having a Power Five is in the rear view mirror. As fun as it may be to peak back every now and then, in today’s world you always have to be looking ahead. Because those who look ahead aren’t left behind. Luckily for the Big 12, we have a commissioner like Brett Yormark who is always one step ahead of the game and I don’t expect any more Big 12 burial discussions anytime soon.

In fact, the Big 12 is now a shovel holder instead of the one being in the dirt. That’s a welcomed course correction.

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