This column first appeared in the Lede on Sunday July 29, 2023.
Go ahead. Sharpen your knives. Freshen your memes. Join the mob, and dunk on the Pac-12/10/9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … Boom. Because the viral mockery of the league's laughable press release in response to Colorado's escape back to the Big 12, softened here for younger audiences, is true.
Quote: "We're screwed."
In a galactic coincidence, the atomic bomb dropped just after the release of "Oppenheimer," the dramatic, cinematic story of former University of California physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer.
(Spoiler alert: He was better known for other work.)
You can argue that Bill Walton's self-proclaimed "conference of champions" deserves its impending demise, or at least its almost certain demotion from the Power 5. When you hire a professional tennis executive as commissioner, move the conference office to posh digs in San Francisco and launch a network that's invisible to much of the country, you get what you get.
You get lost in the sport that pays the bills, qualifying only two teams for the College Football Playoff in its first decade. You watch USC and UCLA choose to partner with Rutgers and Maryland rather than Oregon and Washington. You become powerless to prevent even so-so Colorado from going back where it came from. The Deion effect is real, and it's spectacular.
While the Pac-12 is drawing more national attention than it has in ages, for all the wrong reasons, a question comes to mind: Why are so many people in the college football world dancing on its grave? Is the sport better if all the national championships belong to Alabama and Georgia, with an occasional lightning strike from Auburn, LSU, Florida or Tennessee?
Short answer: No. Long answer: Hell no. ...
Read the rest of Kevin's column on what the Pac-12 has meant to Alabama and Auburn and what losing it means to college football. Only in the Lede.