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Present Pac-12 schools face decisions about whether to stay or go

Oregon has become a national brand within the last 20 years and would give the Big Ten another footprint in the West if it realignsGetty Images

Current Pac-12 schools face the question of whether they will “do everything in their power to maneuver their way into joining” USC and UCLA in going to the Big Ten or another league, or whether they “stay with what essentially now becomes a mid-major” conference, according to Larry Stone of the SEATTLE TIMES. It seems “virtually certain that Oregon, which has the loftiest of aspirations for its football program, will not be satisfied with a Pac-12 that doesn’t contain USC and UCLA and will now see its already plummeting reputation tarnished even more.” Oregon and Washington “would seem to be the two most logical candidates to join the migration” (SEATTLE TIMES, 7/1). In L.A., Thuc Nhi Nguyen writes Oregon is the “meme of confused John Travolta looking around an empty room.” It is the “last Pac-12 team to sniff the CFP” and is the “top football program left in the West.” Washington, another “conference original with a desirable media market, is also looking for company” (L.A. TIMES, 7/1).

IT’S TIME TO GO: In Eugene, Antwan Staley writes Oregon and Washington “should also leave the Pac-12” with USC and UCLA heading out. Seattle is a “major city and Washington has had recent success in football and other sports.” Meanwhile, Oregon has become a “national brand within the last 20 years and would give the Big Ten another footprint in the West” (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 7/1). THE ATHLETIC’s Christian Caple noted it is “no fun today being one of the league’s other 10 schools,” but Oregon and Washington “appear better positioned than their remaining peers to actually make something of their football futures.” Washington’s brand “doesn’t resonate nationally like Oregon’s, but Oregon doesn’t bring with it as large of a TV market.” Caple: “Taken together, the schools should could an appealing duo should the Big Ten seek additional poaching candidates” (THEATHLETIC.com, 6/30).

MOUNTAIN MINDSET: In Denver, Matt Schubert writes it figures that Colorado AD Rick George has “already called anyone and everyone he knows within the Big Ten to lobby” for inclusion. CU offer a “direct link to the Denver media market” and allows the Big Ten to “plant a flag in the Mountain Time Zone -- the only time zone the Big Ten will not have a presence in once USC and UCLA join its ranks” (DENVER POST, 7/1).

BIG 12 SHOULD BE PROACTIVE: In Oklahoma City, Barry Tramel writes in the “same way that some Big 12 members scrambled to draw Pac-12 interest last summer” following Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC, some Pac-12 members “could be considering a Big 12 parachute.” The Big 12 “already has carved a Northwest passage” with the addition of BYU, and the conference “could solicit Oregon, Washington and either Utah or Boise State or both." If Oregon and Washington are waiting for invites from the Big Ten, the Big 12 “could make a run at Arizona State and Arizona, which coupled with some combination of Utah, Boise State or Colorado, would give the conference some intriguing options for television network suitors” (OKLAHOMAN, 7/1).

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