Dealing a crushing combination to the Pac-12 on Friday, the Big Ten announced Oregon and Washington would be joining the conference next August, and the Big 12 completed its raid of the beleaguered league by adding Arizona, Arizona State and Utah.
The day began with hope and nine members for the Pac-12. It ended with the Pac-12 — with roots that date back a century and more NCAA championships than any other — down to four schools and facing extinction because it was unable to land a media rights agreement to match its competitors.
“Today’s news is incredibly disappointing for student-athletes, fans, alumni and staff of the Pac-12 who cherish the over 100-year history, tradition and rivalries of the Conference of Champions,” the conference said in a statement. “We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities.”
The super-conference era has arrived in college sports, and it has swallowed the Pac-12 — the conference the produced Jackie Robinson, John Elway, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Barry Bonds.