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Conference Realignment: Big Ten, Big 12 raid Pac-12

Major movement.

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 may officially be dead — it’s at least dead as we know it — and boy did it happen fast. Realignment chatter really got going once again over the past couple of weeks, starting with Colorado making the jump to the Big 12. In hindsight, they saw the writing on the wall.

Arizona, Arizona State and Utah followed Colorado to the Big 12 this week.

Oregon and Washington followed USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, creating a true national conference.

The moves leave Cal, Stanford, Washington State and Oregon State out in the cold. So now what? The Pac-12 currently stands at just four members for the 2024 season. Do they raid the Mountain West? Does the Mountain West simply absorb those four teams? Could they go independent? So many questions remain.

The destruction of at least one major conference felt inevitable. Rumors of these ‘super-conferences’ have been floating around for years, and things got thrown into overdrive once Texas and Oklahoma made the jump to the SEC. Once USC and UCLA made the move to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 had major, major issues.

College football as we know it has changed forever, and it’s far from done. Not only do we have the remnants of the Pac-12 to figure out, but there’s been plenty of unrest in the ACC — particularly from Florida State.

So the Big 12 now stands at 16. The Big Ten now has 18. The SEC will move to 16. Why? Money of course. Tradition and regions have been tossed aside as schools chase more lucrative TV deals.

Another consequence may be the format of the expanded College Football Playoff, which was set to debut in 2024.

What a mess — and it feels like it’s only going to get messier.

The Pac-12/Mountain West situation is probably the next domino to fall, but keep an eye on the ACC as they now try to figure out a next step.