Updated: Aug 7
Imagine you are waking up at one of the PAC-12 Schools before the B1G announcement, and suddenly you hear or read about it with that first cup of coffee. Imagine you are an Athletic Director of one of the Non-USC or UCLA schools, and it's coming out of left field right there between your eyes. How do you feel? How do you plan to respond as the person responsible for the health and wellness of your College Football Program?
The complicated issues are multi-dimensional. Football drives funding for many if not all of a school's non-football sports. So if suddenly you are staring at a potential knife to the heart for your school's value and possibly existence as you know it today, how do you feel? How do you react when it literally came out of thin air? Everyone at that moment before the announcement thought they had this Alliance Agreement. Nothing was ever signed, so it was a cigar and scotch handshake at the time of yet another reaction to the SEC's moves with Texas and Oklahoma. Nice try, but handshakes like Twitter are as soft as hell these days. Almost as binding as a 16-17-year-old verbally committing to your school 1-2 years before a signature is required.
So now you are sitting there halfway into your cup of joe. Your phone is ringing, or you are dialing away, trying to find out if this is all real. Then you find out it's a done deal. It's over, and your beloved office just feels small today. Then the media starts calling, but you haven't had time to really lock in on what just happened and what is happening. Your University is on edge, and the media drives, even more fear and uncertainty. Recruits are calling, and families are starting to stall out on unofficial visits. The official visits are also at risk now as those are limited to the families. What do you do?
You lean into the first leadership call with the PAC-12 Commissioner and hope that he saw this coming and has a plan. Quickly you can tell he does not. He is also in shock and starts to get personal in his comments outside the walls for the leadership team with the media. Fear is spreading and we all know that uneasy feeling one gets when times are precarious and impact you personally, let alone professionally. The ADs start to go independent. The power programs left, Utah, Oregon, and Washington are talking outside the group. They sense they have value. I didn't mention Stanford because they are an independent thinking school and are already in talks with Notre Dame most likely. So the PAC-10 is no really staring at the PAC-6 in very short order as schools will do whatever they need to do to survive financially and fundamentally. Money talks, and survival is all about money.
Let the games begin, they say, but what will those conferences look like in 2-5 years? Will the NCAA survive as it is today or become a processing plant for a newly formed College Football landscape? Exciting times ahead. Buckle up.