The Pac-12 has watched its fortunes fluctuate all over the place since the early days of realignment, but I always felt like that league was the perfect example of what made college sports so much fun: matched pairs of rivals with plenty of cross-history banded together, with a unique culture to go with it.
But all of that is set to go up in smoke, assuming Arizona’s move to the Big 12 is indeed a formality at this point, as media reports late Thursday night indicate. Arizona State will probably follow, and Utah could, too. Oregon and Washington seem to have a landing spot in the Big Ten. If all of this comes to pass, it’ll leave a quartet of schools to figure out what to do with the ashes.
This didn’t have to end as it appears it will for the Pac-12, which has gone from a position of strength and stability back in 2011 to settling for a rather unfortunate (for fans in particular) streaming-heavy television rights offer from Apple as its only serious option here in 2023. Life comes at you fast, especially when it’s expedited by mismanagement.