Amid mounting defections from the Pac-12 in the latest wave of conference realignment, officials from Washington State, Stanford, Cal and Oregon State expressed their disappointment and plans for action in the face of an uncertain future. Oregon and Washington — charter members of what was then the Pacific Coast Conference in 1915 — both announced on Friday they will leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in July 2024, and they were followed by three of the conference’s “Four Corners” schools — Arizona, Arizona State and Utah — who will join the Big 12.
With Friday’s exodus, more than half of the conference has defected within the last 13 months, six of which have come within the past 10 days. Though Friday’s ransacking acted as the potential knockout blow, the Pac-12 has been in a spiral since USC and UCLA announced they were joining the Big Ten in 2024. Colorado followed in July by announcing a return to the Big 12 in 2024.
The future for the four remaining schools is unclear amid a bleak outlook for the Pac-12. Washington State, along with Oregon State, has not been seen as an expansion candidate for an existing Power Five conference in the latest wave of realignment. Stanford, meanwhile, along with Bay Area rival Cal, has loosely been linked to the Big Ten in the event it wanted to pursue further expansion to 20 total members, but no such steps have been taken yet.
The Pac-12 said in a statement of its own Friday evening that it is working to “the best future possible” for the four remaining schools, with Yahoo Sports reporting leadership from those institutions met multiple times Friday to determine next steps. But that wasn’t until after leadership from each of the four took turns at sharing their views on the situation, some…