It’s pretty darn easy for Pac-12 football fans to say “goodbye and good riddance” to UCLA and the University of Southern California, which have announced their intention to bolt from the Pac-12 and sign up with the Big 10 football conference.
Except that the move all but destroys the Pac-12.
I am a Pac-12 fan. More specifically, I am a fan of the Oregon Ducks football program, which for the past decade or so has been dominant along the Left Coast. And any true-blue Pac-12 fan knows that the only people who root for USC and UCLA either (a) live in the Los Angeles area or (b) grew up there and remain wedded to the Trojans and Bruins because, well, they just are.
All this grid conference shopping makes my head spin. Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC a few years back, destroying the vaunted A&M vs. University of Texas annual football rivalry. Well, the Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners are joining the SEC, too.
The Big 10 now includes many more schools than just the 10 that comprised the original conference clustered around the Great Lakes region.
Now, heaven forfend, the Pac-12 has joined the parade of conferences with changing university lineups.
Don’t make me want to give up you, my beloved Ducks. Maybe the conference can rebuild itself around the Ducks’ awesome brand. The conference does have the Ducks, the University of Washington Huskies, Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State, Utah and Colorado. They all play pretty good football at most of those places.
UCLA and USC? Who needs ’em?