College football programs Oregon State and Washington State are reportedly doing all they can to keep the Pac-12 alive. They face demotion out of the Power 5 if they cannot make a deal with another conference to schedule football games for the future.
Ten other Pac-12 Conference schools are heading to other Power 5 conferences. A judge recently granted Oregon State and Washington State complete control of the Pac-12. And the two schools are trying to devise ways to save the once mighty conference.
According to a report by Chris Vannini and Stewart Mandel of The Athletic, the schools are meeting with representatives of the Mountain West to schedule football and other sports potentially. At the same time, Oregon State and Washington State protect the Pac-12’s assets and keep the conference “open” until they can find more members.
Oregon State and Washington State face demotion from the Power 5
There are questions about why the MWC would want to keep the Pac-12 alive. Per The Athletic report, there is a real possibility Washington State and Oregon State could give up the fight to save the Pac-12 and instead join the Mountain West:
“The Pac-2 [Oregon State and Washington State] also don’t have a media rights deal for next year, and the conference is named in several lawsuits and an ongoing case with the National Labor Relations Board. What would make the league appealing enough for MWC schools to pay an exit fee or try to dissolve the MWC to leave a few stragglers behind?
Oregon State and Washington State could simply join the Mountain West and enjoy a heavy financial advantage, but the fact it hasn’t happened yet indicates how undesirable that option is to them. At least for now.
The main question right now is: Can Oregon State and Washington State float in purgatory for a year or two and hope something better comes along? Whether that’s finding a way to rebuild the conference or hope a Power 4 conference comes calling? They may have a short-term court victory, but they’re running out of time to figure out the future.”
College football is quickly changing
Keeping the Pac-12 alive feels like a fool’s errand at this point. It’s doubtful those two schools will be able to draw enough robust programs to the conference, especially as the Big Ten and SEC seem intent on adding to their mega-conferences.
Oregon State and Washington State look like they’re headed for a demotion out of the Power 5. But then again, why couldn’t they absorb schools from the Mountain West into the Pac-12?
Sure, it won’t be the same Pac-12 it once was. But that’s how college football is in the present. The Big 12 and ACC have seen their power diminish as the Big Ten and SEC grow.
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