The Pac-12 Conference featured in our what happens if the pac-12 folds

We ALL Lose If The Pac-12 Folds

Right before our eyes, the Pac-12 conference is crumbling during the college football offseason. 

The upcoming NCAAF realignment in 2024 has caused plenty of movement between the football programs and suddenly, the Pac-12 has just four schools lingering. 

Are we preparing for the extinction of an over a century-old conference? 

what schools have left the pac-12?

As of August, eight schools have decided to move onto either the Big Ten or Big 12 conferences. In July 2022, the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins were the first to say their goodbyes and are planning their welcome parties to the Big Ten, despite it being based on the opposite coast. 

Coach Deion Sanders' new squad, Colorado, followed suit shortly after and decided to return to the Big 12, which they left back in 2011. 

The straw that broke the camel's back was Oregon and Washington, the only two Pac-12 members who have appeared in the CFP era, unexpectedly leaving too. The domino effect spun out of control as Arizona, Arizona State and Utah announced its departure, too. 

The Pac-12 is barely standing on the support of Stanford, California (the last original member), Washington State and Oregon State -- for now.

why are so many schools leaving the pac-12?

The world is centerd around money and the college football world isn't any different. The driving force behind the Pac-12 exodus is primarily because it is the only Power Five conference without a long-term, reliable media and broadcasting deal. The current TV deal is expiring next year. 

The conference declined ESPN's $30-million offer to try a negotiate for $50-million per school -- which didn't end well. Turning down that option is probably being regretted right about now. But, another thing to consider is the exposure these groups get in these other conferences. USC has a Heisman winning quarterback and one win away from earning a coveted spot in the playoff last season. Now, the Trojans will look to prove and keep up with some of the greatest like the Michigan Wolverines. Plus, a sprinkle of the revenue for their program won't hurt. 

what we lose if the pac-12 conference folds

At this rate, the probability that the Pac-12 conference folds completely becomes more likely. But, amidst all the buzz of the future is the silencing of the history the conference created for college football. 

Established in 1915, the Pac-12 has coined the name the "conference of champions" as it was home to the most team national championships. Before abandoning, USC, UCLA and Washington football were responsible for 71 of those 553 titles. 

The loss of anticipated rivalries and annual matchups could be another thing we're forced to grieve. A New Year's Six meeting could be at stake as the Rose Bowl, that typically pins the Big Ten and Pac-12 champions against each other, will look a hell of a lot different.

What about those heated interstate rivals like the Oregon Ducks going head-to-head with the Oregon State Beavers? Or the Arizona Wildcats scraping it out with the Arizona State Sun Devils? All of that washes away. 

Historic Pac-12 Rivalries
RivalryYear First PlayedLeading Record
The Rose Bowl1902Pac-12 (52-46), Big Ten (34-39)
The Big Game (California vs Stanford)1892Stanford (65-49-11)
Apple Cup (Washington vs Washington State)1900Washington (75-33-6)
Oregon vs Oregon State1894Oregon (67-49-10)
Duel In The Desert (Arizona vs Arizona State)1899Arizona (50-45-1)
California vs UCLA1933UCLA (57-34-1)
Rumble In The Rockies (Colorado vs Utah)1903Utah (34-32-3)
Border War (Oregon vs Washington)1900Washington (61-48-5)
Stanford vs USC1905 USC (63-34-3)
UCLA vs USC1929USC (50-33-7)

Football fanatics have this next season to watch Pac-12 traditions before the conference is spread throughout the American coasts. In the meantime, some of the remaining leaders in charge will fight till the end to keep it all intact.

But, How do all the athletes feel about this?

In the mix of all the talks of dollar signs and hefty contracts causing cracks in college football as we know it, the root of the Pac-12 conference is being overlooked -- the athletes. 

Looking past 2024, the future of their seasons are muddy. These are young adults who have trained their entire lives and grown tremendous admiration for a sport to keep what fuels the NCAA alive -- passion. 

Now, these student-athletes are forced to worry about factors they weren't prepared for. Whether it be managing lengthy travels with demanding academics, protecting their mental health through the turmoil of everything or processing their collegiate dreams aren't panning out the way they'd hoped. 

Nobody has asked them or really even considered how they feel about it all. Instead, their voices are tuned out by greed  and soon the history book of the Pac-12 conference will be shut and left to collect dust.