Dec. 9—SEATTLE — Mark Few made an appearance Dec. 1 at the Pac-12 football championship game between Washington and Oregon in Las Vegas.
No, the Gonzaga coach wasn’t actually in attendance watching from one of the 65,000 seats at Allegiant Stadium, but throughout the game a videoboard series displayed the names and photos of prominent alumni from the participating schools. Few, a 1987 graduate of Oregon, got a brief spot on the videoboard in the fourth quarter.
The Creswell, Oregon, native grew up in Pac-12 country and got his education from a Pac-12 school when the conference consisted of just eight members. Few’s Gonzaga program has rich history with the conference as well, routinely facing Pac-12 schools over the past 25 years, be it deep in the NCAA Tournament, during competitive multiteam events or annual rivalry games such as Saturday’s against Washington.
The Zags lost to Washington 78-73 at Seattle’s Alaska Airlines Arena in the 62nd and potentially last meeting between a Few-coached Gonzaga team and current member of the Pac-12, with 10 of the 12 schools breaking away from the conference following the 2023-24 academic year.
Gonzaga’s current series against Washington will continue for two more years, but when the Huskies visit the Kennel next season, they won’t have a Pac-12 emblem sewn onto their jerseys. And when the Bulldogs return to Seattle in 2025-26, it’ll be a Big Ten logo painted on UW’s court, replacing the Pac-12/10/8 ones that previously existed for more than a century.
The Pac-12’s erosion — a somewhat abrupt development that began in summer 2022 when USC and UCLA announced departures to the Big Ten — has been a tough story to swallow for fans who’ve grown up with the conference.
That includes the native Oregonian who’s become college basketball’s active leader in career winning percentage…