June 30th, 2022 was an infamous day for west coast sports in general. With the craven defections of USC and UCLA to the B1G, the PAC-12 became a diminished PAC-10 come 2024.
Now, for Ducks and Huskies fans, the hope is the B1G will come calling for our respective programs as well. As of this writing, THAT seems to be contingent upon what Notre Dame decides to do with their standing invite to join the B1G. The consensus of the rumor mill nationwide is if the B1G lands at 20 teams, it stands to reason that it will be a combo of ND, Stanford, UW, and UO that makes the cut.
However, that might also be a mirage. What should be done if the B1G doesn’t expand again as widely predicted? Well, that’s what this post is about.
The Pacific Coast Conference, which eventually became the PAC-12, was founded in 1915 without either USC, which was added in 1922, or UCLA, which was added in 1928. Lest we forget, the Rose Bowl game had been held since 1902, so it was not dependent upon latecomers USC or UCLA either. Rose Bowl Stadium was built in 1923. The game hosted a team from the PCC, but as we all know, not always the champion of the conference.
Long story short, LA, (Pasadena), was in the conference footprint BEFORE USC and UCLA were in the PCC.
BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
The rationale of the move of the LA programs to the B1G is largely about the appeal of the region’s number two media market. There’s no denying USC is a player in that market, but it is equally clear that UCLA seldom moves the needle there as well. The obvious flaw in their plan for geographic exclusivity is threefold: Neither program down there owns their respective stadiums they play in, they don’t own the Rose Bowl Game, and they don’t have any say over the wildcard—SoFi Stadium, the most advanced football stadium on the planet.
So, the B1G invites never come. . . .glory be to FOX Sports. What should be the response when the PAC’s TV rights are up for renewal?
1) DON’T EXPAND. DON’T MERGE. Adding teams dilutes any payout.
2) Approach ESPN and any other interested platforms, and eschew FOX, who provided the dagger to the USC/UCLA betrayal.
3) Talk with the SEC, ACC ND, and the B12 and offer up this possibility:
- A season long, weekly OOC series with interested SEC, ACC, B12 programs to come to SoFi and take on a PAC-10 program to raise their profile and recruit LA. We reciprocate with neutral venue appearances in those other leagues’ footprints.
- Stanford permanently moves their home tilt with ND to SoFi, or even the Rose Bowl Stadium, on a weekend UCLA is playing Purdue or Rutgers.
- Don’t have CCG, instead have a "December Showcase" between #1-2 PAC programs, again at SoFi or at the RB.
- Attempt to retain the RB tie in for the PAC in non playoff years. After all, USC and UCLA are in the B1G and have to gain their berth through them.
- Move the UO-UW game to SoFi every third year.
To generate crowds, offer deeply discounted tickets. The gate is next to irrelevant in this era—it’s atmosphere for TV. Get the league to chip funds and bus every high school and middle school football player in the region to these LA showcases to generate goodwill for the league.
A PAC without USC and UCLA is a return to a deep tradition of playing without them. Therefore, absolutely and flatly refuse to play either program in ANY sport unless it is an obligatory football game in the RB or a post season tourney game in other sports.
USC and UCLA set out to screw their colleagues. Screw them back however we can if we have to remain the PAC-10.